How much influence does Udonis Haslem have in the personnel decisions for the Miami Heat?
Recently he made an off-handed remark that could be interpreted in more than one way.
“You get drafted top 10, you think it’s all peaches and cream from there.”
Ahem, who was drafted a top 10 by Miami? I’ll leave the meaning of that sentence to the reader. The entire quote from the article reads:
“You take a bunch of guys with the mentality of myself and put them on a one-year contract and this is what you’re going to get.”
“You’re going to get guys busting their ass in the gym every day because their life depends on it. Because these guys understand what a luxury it is to be in this league.”
“This league is not all chalked up to be what it is.”
“You get drafted top 10, you think it’s all peaches and cream from there. But all of a sudden you bounce around to a couple teams and reality starts to set in.”
“So, like I said, it was definitely by design. We brought the tougher guys in.”
“These are Miami Heat guys, there’s no doubt about it.”
Haslem has been close to Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley for over a decade. Having seen future Hall of Fame players come and go, he’s probably developed a keen sense of what it takes to develop a championship level of talent. And an excellent B.S. meter.
When Udonis speaks out about team effort, his tirades aren’t politically correct. They are spot on though. He’s a true warrior (excuse the pun).
Along with Dan Craig, who guided his Skyforce team to a NBA Development League record season, Haslem may have the ear of Spoelstra in shaping the squad for next season. And nobody would want to get on the wrong side of Udonis.