The captain of the Miami Heat is coming back.
Three-time NBA champion Udonis Haslem will be playing his 15th season in the league after he signed a one-year veteran’s minimum contract worth $2.3 million to remain with the Heat.
It was also confirmed by the organization and Heat president Pat Riley for Haslem to return as the team captain and a frontcourt reserve.
“It is a great, great, day to have Udonis Haslem sign a contract for his 15th season with the Miami Heat. He isn’t just Mr. 305; he is a true patriarch of the team. Today we are proud to announce that he is back to lead the Heat again.” Riley said when the contract was announced
In Heat history, Haslem was the longest tenured player already where all of his NBA seasons came only from his hometown team.
In fact, the only players left with longest tenures spanning at least 15 years with the same team from the start of their careers were Dirk Nowitzki with the Dallas Mavericks, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs.
Haslem joined the Heat as a free agent in 2003, after going undrafted out of Florida in 2002 and spent his first pro season in France.
In addition, the 37-year-old veteran and Dwyane Wade are the only players who were on all three Heat championship teams, which happened in 2006, 2012 and 2013.
He is also the Miami’s career leader in rebounds with 5,701 and has appeared in 830 regular season games and just need 25 games from tying Wade’s most games record with the franchise.
The team captain is now on his sixth contract with the Heat.
PHOTO CREDIT: ESPN