Heat’s 41-year-old power forward silences critics: No More “Mascot”

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Heat’s 41-year-old power forward silences critics: No More “Mascot”

The Miami Heat’s front office has been chastised for keeping power forward Udonis Haslem on the active roster so long after he has passed his prime.

Many fans believe the 41-year-old veteran is a waste of a roster spot because he rarely plays, or that he is nothing more than a well-paid “mascot.”

Haslem, on the other hand, is flipping the script when no one expects it.

Sure, Haslem is the NBA’s oldest active player, currently in his 19th (!) season, but he can still play.

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During the 2021-22 season, the Miami native has already logged more minutes than he did the previous year.

The three-time NBA champion has averaged 17 minutes per game through the Heat’s first 15 games, compared to 2 minutes and 40 seconds per game last season.

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18 November 2021 — Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT)

Haslem came into the game with the Heat trailing by 15 points against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

During his 6 minutes and 21 seconds on the court, he had three rebounds, two points, a blocked shot, a charge drawn, and an assist, outscoring New Orleans by ten points.

With a slew of veteran starters on the roster who will require regular rest days, it appears that head coach Erik Spoelstra will rely more on the Heat’s longest-serving player.

When Udonis Haslem checks in, he says he doesn’t want the crowd to just cheer.

Because of his performance, he wants them to cheer.

“UD is still employed.”

And when UD takes the court, my job is to contribute and assist in the team’s victory.”

— November 18, 2021, Five Reasons Sports (@5ReasonsSports)

“This year’s team is a little bit more of a veteran team,” Spoelstra said, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. “And I think he just fits for those kinds of spot minutes.”

He’s at ease with himself.

They’re all speaking the same language.”

Udonis Haslem, my President, deserves nothing but respect pic.twitter.comBbX2vp9FSQ

November 18, 2021 — jeremy taché (@jeremytache)

He is… for Haslem.

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