After 19 years in the NBA — every one of them with the Miami Heat — Udonis Haslem has some stories.
Haslem shared a few of them in his must-read interview with Tyler R. Tynes of GQ. He talks about being the embodiment of Heat culture, about his role as a mentor to young players, and about that time Gary Payton tried to hit him with a broomstick (hat tip CBS Sports). Yes, you read that right.
Me and Gary Payton got into it at practice once. I don’t know what we were talking about, but shit went left. We started arguing and Gary went and got a broomstick! Pat [Riley] kicked us outta practice. We had a game that night and me and Gary didn’t speak the whole game. He was finna hit me wit’ a broomstick!
Haslem has seen a few scraps, so what was the “best” fight he saw as the Heat’s unofficial bodyguard.
Best fight? Probably the one when Shaq and Pat [Riley] got into it. It wasn’t even a fight, they were just going at it. The fight was me trying to hold Shaq back and he threw me like a sack of potato chips…I’m trying to save Pat’s old ass and Shaq grabbed me and swung me. He threw me down like that and I was just trying to stop him. Imagine if he really wanted a piece of me? I would’ve had to tase him!
It’s worth reading the whole article to get a better sense of Haslem the man, and check out some stories from a Heat and NBA legend.