League Suspension Has Put Damper On Farewell Season For Heat's Udonis Haslem

Shandel Richardson

Last year Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem hinted he wanted his own celebration when he finally decided to retire from the NBA.

He realized last season was all about former teammate and close friend Dwyane Wade closing his chapter. Haslem sat in the background and allowed Wade to have his moment.

Haslem figured his time would be this season. Even though he was no longer in the rotation, it was his opportunity to embrace the past 17 seasons if he chooses to retire.

Everything was going according to plan, but suddenly Haslem faces the strong possibility of never playing again in a Heat uniform. The league suspended play for at least 30 days due to the threat of coronavirus. Eight members of the NBA, including at least seven players have tested positive. League commissioner Adam Silver is trying to figure a plan to salvage the season, but the chances of the regular season being canceled are a potential reality. The Heat would return to the court for the playoffs in a 17-game shortened season. By then, the opportunities for Haslem could dwindle, with the team competing for a chance to advance in the postseason.

Haslem has only played three games on his farewell tour. Rookie Chris Silva's big game in the opener is arguably the signature moment because of the resemblances between them drew applause from the crowd. Haslem hasn't played since grabbing five rebounds in the Heat's victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers Feb. 22, the night the organization retired Wade's jersey.

By no means does this diminish what Haslem accomplished with the Heat. From undrafted to key contributor on three championship teams, he is one of the league's best success stories.  

It would just be nice to see him get on the court one more time before it all ends.

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