MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem has his eye on a big prize, a slice of ownership with the franchise.
In a revealing interview with CBS4 sports anchor Jim Berry, Haslem opened up about his devotion to the team and his hometown.
“I have given up $70 million over the course of my career to stay here. I have always felt this where I would have the biggest impact, where I would have my superpowers,” Haslem said.
With a host of philanthropic endeavors and business ventures, Haslem has proved that to be true.
Now, he hopes his career-long sacrifice pays off in the long run.
Haslem, now 41 years old, is in his 19th season with the Heat.
This season, he has played in just nine games but remains a strong voice in the locker room.
“If at age 41, I can still be in the best shape on the team with the least amount of body fat, then no one else has any excuse,” he said.
UD said he is often in touch with long-time teammate Dwyane Wade, the Heat legend who is now part-owner of the Utah Jazz.
Haslem said he and Wade both dreamed of someday obtaining an ownership stake in the Heat.
“When that didn’t happen for him, it was hurtful. But now, he has moved on, and now he can serve as a mentor to me as I will look to move in that direction.“
NBA rules do not allow active players to have ownership stakes in teams.
The NBA players union would like to take up that issue in its next round of labor talks with the league.
However or whenever it happens, Haslem is letting it be known that’s a road he wants to travel.
In the meantime, Haslem is very much engaged in motivating teammates in their push for the franchise’s fourth NBA championship.
The Heat is a first-place team, but still not talked about as a favorite to even reach the NBA Finals.
“It’s disrespectful,” Haslem said. “But that’s OK, the Heat are a no-excuses organization, and we don’t make excuses for winning.“