Heat forward Udonis Haslem says he’ll retire after season

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Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem began their NBA careers together with the Heat in 2003, Wade as the No. 5 pick and Haslem as a free agent who went undrafted the year prior.

Apparently, they’ll also end their careers together in Miami.

Wade said he’d retire after this season. So will Haslem.

Haslem, via David Yapkowitz of Basketball Insiders:

“I’m gonna call it done too. There’s nothing else left for me to do on the basketball court,” Haslem told Basketball Insiders. “My kids are getting older, my son is playing college football at the University of Toledo, my 11-year-old is playing travel baseball and I never see him as he’s always out of town. My eight year old is playing travel basketball. There’s so many other things for me to be engaged in right now.”

Haslem is in his 16th season with the Heat. That’s tied for the sixth most by anyone who spent his entire career with one team – behind only Dirk Nowitzki (21 with Mavericks), Kobe Bryant (20 with Lakers), Tim Duncan (19 with Spurs), John Stockton (19 with Jazz) and Reggie Miller (18 with Pacers):

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Most players on the above list were at least stars. Many are or will be Hall of Famers.

But not Haslem, which only adds to the charm of his time in Miami. Haslem lasted by playing hard and hustling. There are reasons the Heat have kept the 38-year-old the last few seasons while barely playing him. He sets a great example.

It’s probably time to move on, and the Heat could use the roster spot on a younger player. They’re so good at developing young players, it sometimes seems like a waste to keep Haslem around.

But it’s worth remembering a reason Miami’s culture is so renowned is Haslem.

He has meant so much to this franchise, helping the Heat win three titles. His retirement won’t draw the same fanfare as Wade’s, but it’ll be a significant turning of the page, too.