Former Miami Heat Teammate Opens up on the Pressure of Playing Alongside LeBron James

Published 03/17/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
Lebron James of USA during the Mens Basketball Preliminary Round, Group A match between USA and Tunisia as part of the 2012 London Olympic Summer Games at the Basketball Arena, Olympic Park, London, England, UK on August 31st, 2012. Photo: Gary Prior/Visionhaus (Photo by Ben Radford/Corbis via Getty Images)


Everyone is familiar with the term ‘Heat culture’. All that the Miami Heat thinks about and works towards is winning. And this winning culture never would have been instilled in the organization without Udonis Haslem. He is one of those players who gave their heart and soul to one team their entire career. If it weren’t for his leadership, along with LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and the Dwyane Wade ‘Big Three’, the Heat never would have seen those back-to-back titles.

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However, Haslem also gives a lot of credit to Bron for it. Only playing with the now Lakers superstar for about four seasons, Haslem still knows what comes with playing with the GOAT of this generation.

What is it like playing alongside LeBron James?

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How LeBron James made his way to the Miami Heat isn’t a pleasant story. In fact, he is still hated for making that decision, but he had his reasons for leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers. First, he, Wade, and Bosh were planning on making a mega team for years now and they got that opportunity with the Heat.

However, the biggest reason was the expectations that were laid on him. He was forced to put up big performances every night for the Cavs and was tired of being the sole superstar trying to get them a title. Along with that came the notion that he was Michael Jordan‘s successor, and somewhere, that got to him.

So, when Bron joined the Heat, Cavs fans didn’t take it very well. But all that aside, Haslem has been a part of the Heat for 18 seasons. And he knows exactly what it is like to team up with Bron.

“If you can handle LeBron coming to your team, it works out for you and it can be successful,” Haslem said. “The problem is: Everybody can’t handle it. When LeBron comes to your team, there’s winning expectations instantly. No waiting, no four or five-year process; there ain’t none of that.”

Lakers Dwight Howard attempts a shot on Heats LeBron James, left, and Udonis Haslem at the Staples Center Thursday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Where are Udonis and LeBron now?

The man who played a vital part in bringing Miami Heat three championships is hardly seen off the bench now. But he plays the role of a veteran leader in the locker room, which somewhere led the franchise to the NBA Finals last season.

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Whereas, LeBron was his rival last season. The Lakers and Miami Heat went up against each other, and the purple and gold came out victorious. Unlike Haslem, Bron is playing like he is still in his prime.

Los Angeles, CA, Monday, December 28, 2020 – Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) sails in for a breakaway dunk against the Trail Blazers at Staples Center. (Robert Gauthier/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

In fact, the Lakers superstar is trying to grab a repeat this season, keeping them as one of the top teams in the West. How crazy would it be to have another Heat and Lakers face off in the finals?

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Read also- ‘I’m Living Proof of It’: Former Teammate Reveals the Secret of LeBron James’ Longevity

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Yashima Bhatia

1122 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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