In discussing the Miami Heat signing three-time NBA champion Udonis Haslem to a final one-year contract, Pat Riley confirmed that the Heat will retire the Miami native’s No. 40 jersey.
Pat Riley confirming one day the No. 40 will be up in the rafters at the arena for the Heat. pic.twitter.com/tavSdSFvpj— Will Manso (@WillManso) August 23, 2022
Haslem, who is the all-time Heat leader in rebounds, will play his 20th NBA season with Miami. Only two other players, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki, have played that many seasons with one franchise.
This news, of course, was always going to happen. During the halftime ceremony to retire Chris Bosh’s No. 1 jersey in March 2019, Riley pointed to Dwyane Wade and Haslem and said, “You’re next.” Wade then had his jersey retired just before the COVID-19 pandemic led the NBA to suspend its season.
When the Heat held a ceremony to retire Shaquille O’Neal’s jersey in December 2016, the 7-foot-1 center thanked Haslem for his work next to him as Miami’s starting power forward. O’Neal also thanked Alonzo Mourning, who was the first Heat player to have his jersey retired.
Unlike Mourning, O’Neal, Wade and Bosh, Haslem never made an All-Star team. But his longevity and leadership with the Heat over the past 19 seasons more than proves himself as worthy of the jersey retirement honor.