Udonis Haslem has spent his entire career with the Miami Heat. But it has been a long time since Haslem has contributed to the Heat in terms of playing basketball. Instead, he has been playing the role of a leader for the team in the locker room and, when needed, on the court.
The 42-year-old has joined an elite company after deciding to return to the Heat to play the 20th season of his NBA career. Haslem will become the only player apart from Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki to play 20 seasons with a single franchise.
Despite not actually playing for the Heat for many games in his last few seasons with the team, he is someone that every player on the team highly respects. And in all honesty, it seems that the players are a bit intimidated by him as well.
After all, he's the perfect example of what the ever-so-popular Miami Heat culture stands for. But have you ever wondered if there's been anyone that Haslem has been intimidated by? If you guessed Pat Riley, then you are certainly right.
In an interview with Boardroom, Haslem revealed that the only person he has ever been intimidated by is the current president of the Heat, Pat Riley.
“Pat Riley, the symbol, you probably wanna look at some mob s**t. I ain’t never been afraid of no man but I think the first two years with the Miami Heat I didn’t speak to Pat. It was just uncomfortable, the slicked back hair, the pants and shoes. I watched Godfather. I seen all that s**t. I think the first couple of years, it was just uncomfortable. Pat Riley, the image, I think people hit the nail on the head. He’s just f*****g Godfather. Pat Riley, the man is a winner, like myself, regardless of what situation he’s been put in. He wasn’t the greatest basketball player. He wasn’t obviously the greatest coach the way the situation started out … He maximized that opportunity. The sky was the limit.
It seems like Haslem sees a lot of similarities between himself and Pat Riley. With Riley not turning any younger, it won't be a surprise if Haslem fills the shoes of Riley in the future.
He certainly has a say in the decisions that the Heat make. Additionally, with head coach Erik Spoelstra producing results, it won't make sense for Haslem to take on a coaching role. So if he one day becomes the president of the Miami Heat, fans will definitely welcome him with open arms.