Udonis Haslem is still unsure whether he will retire following this season.
The 38-year-old climbed onto the top of the backboard of one of the practice court baskets during Monday’s Heat media day at AmericanAirlinesArena and yelled, “D-Wade got the last dance. I got the last stance.”
But Haslem later said he was just having fun, not making an official announcement regarding his future.
“Media Day is long, we all know that,” said Haslem, who is entering his 16th NBA season. “I try to make it fun. I try to make it enjoyable for myself, I try to make it enjoyable for you guys. It was me just having fun.”
It would surprise nobody if Haslem decides to retire next summer, though. He signed a veteran’s minimum deal worth $2.4 million to return to the Heat this year.
If Haslem decided to retire following this season, he would end his career alongside close friend and teammate Dwyane Wade, who announced last week the 2018-19 season will be his final one.
“That’s been the conversation and that’s what we shoot for,that’s what the goal is, that’s what we’ve been aiming for,” Haslem said of retiring with Wade. “Just the fact that we said we would do that so long ago, 16 years later we actually have the opportunity, we have the power to control that decision. That’s pretty cool.”
Haslem, a Miami High grad and an undrafted free agent out of the University of Florida, has spent his entire NBA career with the Heat. He has been part of all three NBA championship teams in franchise history.
Haslem is the Heat’s all-time leader in rebounds (5,711). He is the first undrafted player in NBA history to be a team’s all-time leading rebounder.
While Haslem is one of the Heat’s team captains, he’s expected to play more of a leadership role than an on-court one this season. He has played just 202 minutes over the past two seasons.
During the first 15 seasons of his career, Haslem has averaged 7.7 points and 6.8 rebounds in 844 regular-season games.
“I think year-to-year,” Haslem said when asked about retirement. “I had that conversation with Dwyane a couple years ago. The conversation was just after the season, see how your body feels and see how you feel mentally. Then you take it from there. But I don’t have any commitments past this year. We’ll see how the summer goes and how I feel.”