Miami Heat Veteran To Retire After Season — For Real

It was bound to happen at some point or another. Now, finally, at the age of 42, after 20 years in the NBA, the Miami Heat's omnipresent voice in the locker room, Udonis Haslem says this is really it, he's hanging 'em up after this season. 

“I’m done. I’m done no matter what happens. I gave my contribution. I think at this stage, there needs to be another voice for these guys. It’s time for somebody to step up and be the voice," said Haslem.

The Heat are having a frustrating season; expected to be one of the contenders in the Eastern Conference, they're sitting in 7th spot, at 34-31, and struggling to keep their heads above water.  

Although he's been an active player for the team since 2003, Haslem hasn't actually played in more than 16 games in any season since 2015-16. He's instead morphed into more of an assistant coach/player babysitter kind of role over the past several years. Undoubtedly, a great amount of the much-talked-about "Heat culture" stems from Haslem and his enforcing of the do's and don'ts of being a Miami Heat. 

Haslem has been a fixture in South Florida all his life; he's a Miami native, and he played his college ball at the University of Florida. Then 20 straight seasons with the Heat.

In 878 career games, he's averaged 7.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and untold amounts of toughness. 

Photo: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports