When LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the Miami Heat to team up with Chris Bosh, they formed one of the best trios that the league has ever seen. Their partnership resulted in two championships during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
There's no question that stars are the driving force behind winning championships, but generally depth matters. Role players can often provide intangibles that are crucial in the playoffs.
Udonis Haslem was never a star, but he is nevertheless a Miami Heat legend. He is generally known for his leadership for the Heat, and during his prime, he was a tenacious defender and rebounder. In a recent interview with GQ's Tyler R. Tynes, Haslem revealed his belief that the Miami Heat don't win a single championship without him, citing his ability to "do the dirty work" and "things that won't show up on the stat sheet".
Shit, I was almost outta here — they ain’t have no money left. I was about gone. They wasn’t saving enough for me. They just wanted the big boys. They wasn’t thinking about me, the only one who was was [Wade]. He understood my importance to this city and franchise and thank God he did because it paid off. I don’t care what nobody say, I had my moments and we don’t win none of those rings without me. I did my job and that’s all you can do: Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. I had some critical moments where I had to step in and hold down the fort. Thank God [Wade] stood up and said, “we need this motherfucker.” Because sometimes people get caught up in dollar signs and what makes “cents” doesn’t always make sense.
You can surround guys who drive the bus, who sit on the bus, but if you ain’t got somebody who can change the tires and the oil, your bus ain’t moving. You need a guy like me: who will do the dirty work, take that charge, do the things that won’t show up on the statsheet but it equals winning. [Wade] understood that, LeBron understood that, [Bosh] understood that. If they didn’t, it’s no way those guys take less money and cut off a piece of their pie for me to stay. They didn’t know me. They didn’t have to do that. But they understood what I brought to the table and I was able to deliver.
There is no question that Udonis Haslem was big to those Miami Heat championship runs. A lot of teams employ players whose job is to provide energy and play good defense. Haslem was certainly that and more: he's become a legend to the Heat, and it was previously reported that the Miami Heat would let him keep playing for as long as he wants. Letting a player retire on his own terms is something reserved for franchise icons.
The current core of the Miami Heat may not have won a championship yet, but they did manage to make the NBA Finals during the 2019-20 season. Hopefully, we see them make it once again. Haslem no longer gets huge minutes for the Heat, but he's still on their roster. Perhaps his leadership and experience will be able to help the Heat reach their goals.