Longtime Heat staple Udonis Haslem made his highly-anticipated season debut against the 76ers on Thursday night. Unlike his storied 18-year career, Haslem’s appearance in the game was “blink and you might miss it” brief.
In three minutes of game action, Haslem shot a perfect 2-for-2 from the field and grabbed a rebound before getting ejected following an altercation with Dwight Howard. If there was ever an embodiment of “here for a good time, not a long time,” Haslem nailed it:
It’s hard to determine what caused the confrontation between Haslem and Howard, though the home crowd was certainly on Haslem’s side. If nothing else, Haslem’s early exit secured what could go down as the most efficient season from an NBA player in league history:
Haslem is beloved in Miami, and for good reason. He’s spent his entire NBA career with the Heat after playing four years in college at Florida, and has been a part of all three of Miami’s NBA championship teams.
Haslem has taken on more of a mentorship role with the team in recent years, appearing in just five games over the last two seasons. Though he hasn’t announced his future plans publicly, Haslem turns 41 in June, and it’s possible this season will be his last.
The Heat have two more games left on the schedule—both on the road—so if Thursday night marked Haslem’s last regular-season appearance with the team, it’s hard to envision a better way to ride off into the sunset.
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