By Anthony Caruso III
The Capital Sports Report
Owner/Managing Editor/Sr. Writer
Udonis Haslem is just a member of the Miami Heat.
He doesn’t have the stardom that his three fellow teammates have. When people talk about the Miami Heat, it is always about LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, or newly signed Ray Allen.
Haslem is almost always left out of the equation. Yet, on Wednesday night, he accomplished something that James, Wade, Bosh, or Allen cannot say they’ve done.
The Florida Gators grad surpassed well-respected fan favorite center Alonzo Mourning as the Heat’s all-time rebounding leader. He needed just two rebounds in the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at home to surpass the 4,807 rebound record that Mourning held.
“The memories are what I’ll save,” Haslem said. “Hopefully, I won’t get old or Alzheimer’s or something and (forget) that I was the rebounding champion. The memories are what I’ll really hold on to, what are dearest to my heart.”
In the game, he had 2 offensive rebounds and 6 defensive rebounds for 8 total rebounds.
“To do it in front of my family, in front of my friends, so many people that I love and care about, in front of my home fans that have supported me for so long, it’s going to be a great accomplishment,” Haslem said.
He was by passed in the 2002 NBA Draft, which also featured James, Wade, and Bosh as Top 10 picks. Yet, after a year in France, he worked his way into the NBA with the Heat in 2003.
He has played for the Heat ever since, and earned a spot in the NBA for his rebounding. His niche of a machine on the boards has helped the Heat to two championships in the past decade.
The Heat won the championship in 2006 and this past summer.
“It was a tribute to my mind-set,” Haslem said. “If you put your mind to it, I know people say it a lot and it’s a cliche, but if you put your mind to it, you can do it. Because I wasn’t a great rebounder in college [at Florida].”