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#pounditSaturday, June 22, 2024

3-time NBA champion answers retirement questions

Erik Spoelstra looking on

Nov 30, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra reacts during a break as they take on the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat have had a disappointing season after they were viewed as an Eastern Conference favorite, and some have wondered if the lackluster play could make Udonis Haslem reconsider his future.

Haslem announced last summer that the 2022-23 season would be his final one. The 20-year veteran said earlier this week that he has been “losing sleep” over the Heat barely staying afloat in the playoff hunt. Haslem admitted he is disappointed with the way his last season has unfolded.

That led to some speculation that Haslem could return for a 21st season if Miami fails to make a deep postseason run. Haslem told Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald on Sunday that he has had no second thoughts.

“I’m done. I’m done no matter what happens,” Haslem said. “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.”

The Heat entered Sunday with a record of 34-31 and in seventh place in the East. They came into the season with championship aspirations after falling just one win short of reaching the NBA Finals last year.

Haslem, who has spent his entire NBA career in Miami, is a fan favorite. He won three NBA titles with the franchise. The Heat have big plans to honor him over several days later this month.

Haslem has barely played over the past few seasons and is more of a coach than a contributor, so that might be a logical next step for him.

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