Udonis Haslem has a collection of jerseys that includes a couple of Dwyane Wade’s.
On Tuesday night, Haslem added another.
Even though the Heat’s first visit to Cleveland since Wade joined the Cavaliers didn’t end the way it hoped, Haslem and Wade shared a special on-court moment postgame.
The longtime friends exchanged jerseys they’d worn during the game, a tradition often seen in other sports such as football and soccer.
"NFL guys to it all the time, why not?" Haslem said. "We talked about it but the one thing we did say was his would probably be sweaty and mine would probably be dry. So that was the one thing we did have right."
Haslem joked during training camp after Wade signed with the Cavaliers that he had six fouls and a flagrant for Wade when the two would finally meet as rivals on the court.
Haslem checked into the game with 5:09 left in the fourth quarter. He shared two minutes and 42 seconds of game time with his former Heat teammate of 13 seasons before Wade left the game for good with 2:27 to go. The only contact Haslem made with Wade was when he gave him a hug after the jersey exchange.
Last season while Wade was playing for the Chicago Bulls, they were only on the court together in one of the three games against the Heat.
Haslem said his brief appearance Tuesday wasn’t enough to really work up a sweat.
"I ain’t got a chance to get my competitive juices flowing," Haslem said.
Haslem said he would wash Wade’s jersey and add it to his collection which also includes one of Wade’s old Heat jerseys and one of his Team USA jerseys.
Haslem wasn’t surprised Wade, who has taken on a mostly backup role for Cleveland so far this season, can still kick things into high gear in crunch time as he did in the fourth quarter after LeBron James was ejected with two technical fouls.
"Instantly when LeBron went out you could see how the gears shifted in his mind and he went into attack mode," Haslem said. "He went into leadership mode on the floor offensively. There’s no doubt in my mind. I knew can still do it, he just showed it tonight. This league is about opportunities, understanding his role, understanding this is LeBron’s team. He has to play a different role."
"Same thing goes for myself. I know what my role it. Don’t mean I can’t play by far, but roles are the roles you do the best to star in our role and help your team the best you can."