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Udonis Haslem Joins Kobe Bryant And Dirk Nowitzki As The Only Players To Play 20 NBA Seasons With One Team

Udonis Haslem Joins Kobe Bryant And Dirk Nowitzki As The Only Players To Play 20 NBA Seasons With One Team

Legends in the NBA are made through a trial of fire in the heat of competition. To become a legend for your team in this league, a player's contributions have to be inherently linked to their success. This leads to longevity in staying on the team's roster even when the player is past their prime.

We have seen many 10-year veterans on certain teams and even some 15-year veterans. However, there is a deified club of players atop that list who managed to spend 20 seasons with a club. Up until yesterday, the list only featured 2 names, but a 3rd will be added on opening night of the 2022-23 season.

Dirk Nowitzki has played the most seasons in the NBA for one franchise, spending his entire 21-year career with the Dallas Mavericks. Kobe Bryant gave all 20 years of his career to the Los Angeles Lakers, and now Udonis Haslem will join those 2 as the only players with 20 years of service. Haslem has confirmed he will return to the Miami Heat for his 20th season and retire at the end of the year. 

Haslem has been a crucial member of the Miami Heat locker room for years and is one of the most well-respected veterans in the league. Haslem will also gain the odd distinction of being the only undrafted player in history to play in 20 seasons. 

Udon was signed by the Miami Heat prior to the '03-'04 NBA season after going undrafted in 2002. Haslem quickly became a valuable player for the Heat, averaging 10.9 points and 9.1 rebounds in his sophomore season. He played a pivotal role in the Heat's 2006 title and took a massive pay cut to give the Heat room to sign LeBron James and Chris Bosh in 2010. He has won 3 championships with the team. 

While many have been arguing Haslem should give up his roster spot and stay around the team as an assistant coach, the Heat were never going to tell him what to do after all the sacrifices he has made for the team over the year. He is the franchise leader in rebounds and will one day see his jersey hanging in the rafters of the FTX Arena, a true Heat legend.