Recently announcing his retirement from the NBA, Udonis Haslem will always be known as the heart and soul of the Miami Heat. Spending all 20 seasons of his career in South Beach, Haslem retires with three championship rings in six different appearances in the NBA Finals, as well as the team’s all-time leader in offensive rebounds (1,615), defensive rebounds (4,176) and total rebounds (5,791).
Forever a legend in the Miami area, Haslem will now be honored by the Miami Marlins in the MLB, as he recently signed a one-day contract with the baseball club ahead of “UD Night” against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 7.
Udonis Haslem signed a 1-day contract with the Miami Marlins 🔥
On September 7th, he’ll throw out the first pitch for ‘UD night’ against the Dodgers👏
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) August 30, 2023
“Udonis Haslem embodies the South Florida community, and it is our honor to celebrate his many accomplishments on the court and in the surrounding neighborhoods of Miami with UD Night on September 7,” Caroline O’Connor, Marlins President of Business Operations, stated in the team’s press release. “We could not think of a better way to recognize his commitment to the community than by supporting his newly launched foundation with a donation from every UD Night ticket.”
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This special ticket package on the night the baseball team honors the Heat legend will include a limited-edition “Haslem 40” Marlins T-shirt, with $3.05 going to The Udonis Haslem Foundation. Of course, the $3.05 representing the city’s “305” area code.
Over the 20 years Haslem spent with the Heat, he played in a total of 879 games, averaging 7.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for his career. His overall numbers do not look impressive simply because he didn’t play in more than 102 games over the last eight seasons of his career, as Haslem was utilized as an extension of the coaching staff.
He was instrumental to the Heat’s success during the 2005-06 season, the year the organization won their first ever championship, and the long-time veteran was a leader on Miami’s bench during their back-to-back title runs in 2012 and 2013.
“I mean, I just want to be part of this organization for the rest of my life, man,” Haslem stated after the Heat lost in the 2023 NBA Finals. “It’s a lot of love here, man. This is family. Loyal to the soil. Whatever it is and whatever it takes to continue to have this organization at a championship level and compete for championships, count me in.”
While it is unknown if he will join the team as an assistant coach or in an operations role within the front office, the Heat have already made it known that Haslem will have his No. 40 jersey retired. An official announcement of his retirement ceremony during the 2023-24 season is expected to come from the team at some point in the coming months.