Despite the fact that he’s barely been on the court over the past two years, there’s still no denying that Udonis Haslem has been and continues to be one of the most important players on the Miami Heat roster. This has been the case for Haslem for many years, and the 41-year-old knows the pivotal role he plays for the squad.
Haslem recently took a stroll down memory lane as he relived his glory days with the Heat. He went all the way back to Miami’s Big 3 era with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. In Haslem’s mind, he has no doubt that the Heat would not have won those titles without him:
“S—, I was almost outta here — they ain’t have no money left,” Haslem said in an interview with Tyler R. Tynes of GQ. “I was about gone. They wasn’t saving enough for me. They just wanted the big boys. They wasn’t thinking about me, the only one who was was [Wade]. He understood my importance to this city and franchise and thank God he did because it paid off. I don’t care what nobody say, I had my moments and we don’t win none of those rings without me.”
Haslem was never the best player on the squad, but we all know how important he was to the team. He’s the perfect embodiment of an NBA glue guy and the intangibles he brought/brings to the table are unmatched.
Haslem carried on with his self-praise as he explained why he firmly believes that the Heat wouldn’t have bagged those three championships if they decided to let him walk away as a free agent:
“You can surround guys who drive the bus, who sit on the bus, but if you ain’t got somebody who can change the tires and the oil, your bus ain’t moving,” Haslem continued. “You need a guy like me: who will do the dirty work, take that charge, do the things that won’t show up on the statsheet but it equals winning. [Wade] understood that, LeBron understood that, [Bosh] understood that. If they didn’t, it’s no way those guys take less money and cut off a piece of their pie for me to stay. They didn’t know me. They didn’t have to do that. But they understood what I brought to the table and I was able to deliver.”
Honestly speaking, it’s hard not to agree with Haslem’s claims here. In fact, even LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh would probably agree that the Heat would not have reached their objectives had it not been for Udonis Haslem.