The Miami Heat are throwing it back to the mid-2000s by bringing back Udonis Haslem and adding Caron Butler.
The Miami Heat will live and die by the performances of the likes of Jimmy Butler, but it would be foolish to discount the impact that 40-year-old forward Udonis Haslem has had on Erik Spoelstra’s team. While still an active player, Haslem essentially operates as a player-coach, and his vocal leadership was instrumental to their success this season.
The Heat are more than happy to welcome Haslem back, as he confirmed that he will return for his 18th NBA season despite being the oldest player in the NBA.
Udonis Haslem will return for what will be his 18th NBA season
Haslem’s career averages of 7.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game look ordinary, but those numbers overshadow the fact that he was one of the better hard-nosed rebounders in the league during his prime. He has also played a role on six Finals teams, three of which netted him a championship ring.
Continuing with what has turned out to be a very busy day in the 305 area code, Caron Butler confirmed that he will be joining Spoelstra’s staff as an assistant coach.
Butler, known for both his incredible rags-to-riches story and his All-Star appearances with the Washington Wizards, came into the league with the Heat, but was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Shaquille O’Neal deal. Butler tried to make a go of it on TV, but he apparently feels he is more at home on the sidelines.
Both Haslem and Butler are among the most beloved players from their era, and the fact that both of them continue to find work has to bring a smile to the face of anyone who watched these two go head to head in their primes decades ago.