It was in the summer of 2003 that the seeds of one of the longest and most cherished partnerships in Miami Heat’s history were planted. Dwyane Wade had just been picked 5th overall in the draft in June. Meanwhile, Udonis Haslem, a player who wasn’t recognized for his talents, unexpectedly arrived at the Heat. Who knew their bond would change the franchise’s fate?
When they stepped into the league together, they formed a familial bond. The two have spent almost their entire career, almost 15 seasons, together. The only brief period in which they didn’t play together was when Wade left to play for Chicago Bulls but eventually came back to end his career where he started- in Miami.
They are one of the longest-tenured teammates in NBA history, like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs. Even off the court, their bond was evident when they opened a restaurant together in 2018.
With friendship comes harmless banter, and it looks like theirs is still very much alive. Udonis recently commented on Wade’s new picture with his daughter.
In the post, funny-looking Wade is walking with his daughter, who looks quite angry. So, Udonis took this opportunity and commented, “She’s upset you making her go out with you looking like that… Now she knows my life or the last 20 years.”
A player like Udonis is rare in the NBA today. This is an era in which players are constantly moving around in search of better-suited teams. Star players generally don’t commit to one franchise for very long, especially those that play key roles. But not Udonis Haslem. He has been in the Miami Heat since his rookie season in 2003-04. Can one believe that this legend went undrafted?
In his 17 year career with Heat, he has established himself as one of the greatest defenders. Ever since Heat’s existence, it has been to the NBA Finals six times, one being last season when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. Although they’ve won three out of those six, Udonis has been an integral part of all of their runs.
Wade’s resume, on the other hand, is filled with accolades. He was the face of that franchise and was the driving force that led them to their first title in 2006, getting the Finals MVP award. On the court, Wade was a complete package. He knows how to come big during clutch moments, and his high-level defense can scare anyone. He had the ability to put his team in the best position possible for a win.
Now retired, Wade’s legacy alongside Udonis is etched in the NBA’s history. Will we ever see a partnership as long-lasting and strong as theirs?
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