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#pounditTuesday, August 16, 2022

Heat legend uncertain about his playing future

Udonis Haslem in a Heat shirt

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat’s most-tenured player is unsure about his future.

The Heat were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday. The loss denied Miami the chance to reach the Finals for the second time in three years.

Udonis Haslem has played for the Heat since 2003-2004 and seen it all. He turns 42 in just over a week and says he plans to take his time before making a decision on a possible return to the team.

Haslem is more of a coach than a player, though he did see action in 12 games during the regular season. Him not returning to the team would be a significant change given his steady presence with the franchise over the last two decades.

If Haslem does not return as a player, one would figure that he might remain with the team in some other capacity. If he does return to the team, he would tie the late Kobe Bryant for the second-longest tenure with the same team (20 seasons). Dirk Nowitzki holds the record at 21 seasons. Haslem would need to reach a Julio Franco age before matching Dirk’s mark.

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