Although he’s not sure if the Washington Wizards will kneel or do something different to express their feelings toward social injustice when the national anthem is played Tuesday night in the preseason opener for both teams, Udonis Haslem said he expects the Heat to “follow protocol” during the team’s first two preseason games.
It’s more likely, Haslem said, that the Heat will do something together as a team to raise awareness for social injustice during its home preseason opener Oct. 11 against the Brooklyn Nets.
“Right now we haven’t discussed doing anything,” Haslem said. “We’ll get to that. We’ll decide as a group what we want to do. But we’re going to be respectful to this country, we’re going to be respectful to this flag and when we come up with something collectively that we want to do, that’s when we’ll do something.”
The Toronto Raptors locked arms for “Oh, Canada” and the “Star-Spangled Banner” in their preseason opener Saturday. Spoelstra reiterated Tuesday he’s “going to support whatever our guys decide to do.”
“We talked about it in training camp,” he said. “We’re going to have [another talk] in Miami and have our own player panel discussion, and take the next step where guys want to take action. We’re all sick about what we’re seeing.”
The Heat will return home right after Tuesday’s game but could end up leaving town again as early as Wednesday night to avoid the path of Hurricane Matthew.
Miami is scheduled to play its next preseason game Saturday in Kansas City against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but was going to practice in South Florida through Friday.
“We’ll see where this turns, but that’s definitely on our radar now,” Spoelstra said. “So, training camp may continue to a destination undisclosed.”
Haslem, a Miami native, said he’s happy he can now afford to pay others to prepare his home and take care of his family in case Matthew turns in South Florida’s direction. Still, Haslem admitted Tuesday, he’s a procrastinator when it comes to storm prep.
“I’ve been in situations before where I went and bought bread, water, sardines and got a little thunderstorm,” Haslem said. “Why go out spending money or bringing out the shutters? I’ve got to make sure I’m really going to get a real whiff of it.”