Haslem Nears Franchise Record
By: Matt Pineda
Being an un-drafted player and spending a year overseas after college probably didn’t bode well for Udonis Haslem’s self-esteem as a young player. But that didn’t stop him of pursing a role with an NBA team. And after a near decade with the same organization, Udonis Haslem is nearing the franchise record in rebounds for the Miami HEAT.
It’s probably something Udonis never even dreamed about coming up. Haslem was just trying to make a team, let alone be a record holder one day. But as Wednesday’s game with the Milwaukee Bucks comes, Haslem is only one rebound shy of the team’s record for a career.
The current owner of that record is none other than HEAT legend Alonzo Mourning. Over 593 games with the HEAT, Mourning grabbed 4,807 rebounds. Haslem has played 605 career games with Miami and has now tallied 4,806 rebounds. Through his career, Haslem has been known for his defense, rebounding and the ability to take a charge (maybe even his baseline jumper if you’re a HEAT fan!).
In Miami on Wednesday, Haslem will most likely become the team’s all-time leader in rebounds. Throughout his career, Haslem has averaged 8.0 rebounds a game so far, with a high of 9.1 RPG in two different seasons.
Erik Spoelstra said the moment will be, “pretty special” considering that Udonis is a Miami native. Spoelstra also said, “he embodies all that we want in a Miami HEAT basketball player.” That’s a high praise for a rugid player like Udonis. Haslem has given everything he has to this organization. He has twice sacrificed money elsewhere to stay here with the HEAT. He gave up his starting role to allow Michael Beasley to get more minutes despite him not earning them, and he has always accepted his role.
Udonis is co-captain of the Miami HEAT alongside Dwyane Wade, the only two players to have two championship rings with the Miami HEAT.
If anyone is going to take this honor away from Alonzo Mourning, Udonis Haslem is one that deserves it. So stay tuned this week and witness Udonis Haslem become the HEAT’s all-time leader in rebounds.
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