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The Comeback

Heat player wants ownership stake in team

By Arthur Weinstein,


Udonis Haslem has spent 20 seasons in a Miami Heat uniform.

Now that his career is coming to an end, he wants to stay involved at a different level — as part of the team’s ownership group.

Haslem, 42, entered the league as an undrafted free agent and would go on to become a key member of three NBA championship teams. He is the franchise’s career rebounding leader.

It’s been a grand ride for Haslem, who has become so synonymous with the team he earned the nickname “Mr. Miami.”

Marc J. Spears of recently asked Haslem if he could see the light at the end of the tunnel of his NBA career.

“I see the light. It took a while, but I see the light. The light for me is to step into the phase of being the owner,” Haslem said. “That’s the light for me, man. There’s no disrespect to coaching or anything that those guys do, because I think we have one of the greatest coaches [Pat Riley] to ever pick up a pen and pad. But for me, all the things that I’ve witnessed, not just in this organization, but around the entire the NBA — because I do have relationships with everybody in this league, different teams, different owners, different GMs [general managers] — I’ve got a lot of respect and a lot of relationships with different people.

“And the conversations that I’ve had with people, the information that I’ve gathered, and everything that I’ve experienced, the next step for me is to be stepping into an ownership situation …”

Wanting to be a team owner, and actually being offered the opportunity to buy a stake, are two different things. When asked if he expects to be offered the opportunity, Haslem said he expects that will happen.

“I don’t know. We’ll see. I would hope so,” Haslem said. “I would hope to have those conversations. I think I’ve been very clear about it when I’ve had interviews, and people have asked me about it. And I’ve been upfront about that being the goal of mine, and that being the next step for me. So, that’s what I would like to do, to sit next to those guys, and I’m sure there’s a way we can work it out …”

Haslem is certainly a beloved figure not just in Heat circles, but throughout the entire NBA, as illustrated by this recent tribute video before his final regular season game.


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