Former Florida Gator basketball player and Miami Heat veteran, Udonis Haslem has announced his retirement after 20 seasons with the Miami Heat. During his last game on Sunday against the Orlando Magic, Haslem secured 24 points, the most he’s scored since 2009.
24 Pts, 53% from the field, 3 threes. Not bad for a 42 year old huh? Thankful for 20 yrs, my family, friends, teammates, & fans along this amazing journey. From undrafted to all time leading rebounder.. it’s just work!! Can’t put into words all the emotions I’ve been feeling… pic.twitter.com/lai3FWqi6P
— Udonis Haslem (@ThisIsUD) April 10, 2023
The Heat is On
After leaving the University of Florida in 2002, Haslem spent the entirety of his professional career at the Miami Heat. Haslem will retire as a three-time champion and all-time leading rebounder for the Heat. He joins Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki as the only players to remain committed to one franchise for over 20 years.
During the last four years with the Heat, Haslem served a support role for the team both on the sidelines and in the locker room. Haslem’s game on Sunday was his seventh appearance this season, but one that is unforgettable. Haslem scored 24 points and hit three 3-pointers and brought the heat with an alley-oop dunk.
When Haslem was taken out of the game with 58.9 seconds remaining, he received a standing ovation from the Miami fans. Haslem left the game 3-for-7 from 3-point range and shooting 9-for-17 from the floor.
In the end, the Miami Heat concluded the game with a 123-110 win against the Orlando Magic.
Haslem Sent ‘Rocking’ Home
At 42 years old, Haslem became the fifth oldest player to appear in an NBA game, surpassing Dikembe Mutombo. The Miami Heat plan to retire Haslem’s No. 40 jersey by next season.
He also topped the oldest players to have a 24-point game:
Udonis Haslem – 42 years, 304 days
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 41 years, 3 days
Vince Carter – 40 years, 335 days
Ahead of Sunday’s game, the team honored Haslem with a rocking chair as a farewell gift. Though initially offering it to Heat legend, Dwyane Wade that was sitting courtside, center Bam Adebayo gestured for Haslem to take a seat on the chair.