After 20 years in the NBA and winning three championships, Udonis Haslem is set to retire from the Miami Heat. His memorable stay in the NBA would not have been possible without the kind gestures of the NBA trio – LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.
Speaking on The Pivot podcast, Haslem revealed that his stay with the Miami Heat was nearly marred by financial challenges, but James and his colleagues took pay cuts to keep him on the team and went on to win two NBA championships with the Heat.
According to him, his fate on the team was uncertain following the announcement of the “Big Three.” While a free agent in 2010, he realized the value of the trio could dim any chance of him being offered a new contract.
However, the Big Three negotiated their salaries to keep him on the team. James had a contract valued at $110.1 million, Bosh had the same contract value, while Wade’s was $107 million.
“I’m out of here, because I know how the numbers worked, I know how the money worked. I know what those guys’ values was, I know they worth at the time. And I’m thinking, ‘Okay, it’s time to move on,’” Haslem explained.
In 2010 while making his way into the 2010 Summer Heat Welcome Party at the American Airlines Arena, he received news from his agent of a deal valued at roughly $35 million.
However, he was given $20 million thanks to the effort of James, Wade, and Bosh, who collaborated to take less although they didn’t have to do it. He added that they intervened even though they never played with him.
“But the fact that Bron, CB, and D-Wade all collaborated to take less money to make that $20 million available for me, it said enough, because they didn’t have to do that,” Haslem explained.
“Dwyane understood. Bron and CB don’t know me from a can of paint,” he added. “They ain’t ever played with me, they don’t know nothing about me. But the fact that they was able to say, ‘Okay, cool. We need him. We need him to win.’ That let me know I got to get them boys they money worth.”