Udonis Haslem is one of the most iconic Miami Heat players of this generation, and there's no doubt that many consider him a franchise legend. He was an elite defensive power forward in his prime. Even though his playing time dwindled over the last few years with the Miami Heat, he is still a player who is important to the franchise due to his veteran leadership in the locker room.
Recently, during the Heat's announcement of Udonis Haslem returning for his 20th season, Pat Riley revealed that the team would retire his jersey. Riley noted that Udonis Haslem will go down as "one of the best" players to "ever play for the Miami Heat".
Heat announce re-signing of Udonis Haslem. Pat Riley, "From the first day that I saw him compete, to the last day when we retire his jersey at our FTX home, UD will go down in our team’s history as one of the best to ever play for the Miami Heat."
Generally, when fans think of jersey retirements, they think of star-level players who have won championships for the team. However, there have definitely been times when teams reward key role players that had helped the franchise with jersey retirements, such as when the Oklahoma City Thunder retired Nick Collison's jersey. There's no doubt that Udonis Haslem deserves to have his jersey retired, and it will quite likely be an emotional night for both the Miami Heat and their fans when that does end up happening.
The Miami Heat should be one of the contending teams next season, and we'll see if they are able to win another championship next year. It would be amazing to see Udonis Haslem win another ring before he retires at the end of next season, and there's no doubt that it would be a fantastic finish to his career.