Udonis Haslem is one of the biggest Miami Heat idols. The big man has been with the team for 18 years (soon 19), becoming one of the most beloved players in team's history.
After signing a new deal with the Floridians, Haslem is set to stay put and play in South Beach for as long as possible. It seems like the team doesn't have a problem with that and has encouraged Haslem to keep playing until he feels it's time to retire.
According to Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel, the Heat is allowing Haslem to return to the team as many times as he wants and retire whenever he feels the time is right. He will make the decision of his retirement without anybody on the organization pushing him to do so.
“The Heat have made it clear that Haslem will be allowed to retire on his terms, whenever he so chooses,” Winderman wrote.
Haslem is now 41-year-old, serving more as a mentor for young players. The big man helped the team clinch three championships in 2006, 2012, and 2013. Just like Vince Carter a couple of seasons ago, Udonis keeps coming back, trying to help his team with whatever they need, although he doesn't play too much.
The Heat really appreciate him, and there's no better proof of that than this decision. He's an icon for the franchise, and perhaps he can retire with a 4th ring if the squad they assembled can reach the promised land next year. That would be the best closure for a remarkable career.