NBA

Udonis Haslem will be spending a 16th season with his hometown team.

Udonis Haslem chose to re-sign with the Heat out of his love for the team

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Udonis Haslem has agreed to return to the Miami Heat for a 16th season and officially signed a one-year, $2.4 million deal on Monday.

The 38-year-old, who has spent his entire career with his hometown franchise, was contemplating retirement throughout the summer but has now chosen to continue for another campaign.

It may be a strange decision for somebody who has barely played in the last three years but Haslem said he put the team's needs before his own.

Doing it out of love

The veteran cited his love for the organisation as the main reason why he elected to re-sign.

"It's about my love for the organisation and my love for the guys," Haslem said, per ESPN.

"It wasn't about me. If I was looking for playing time, I could have gone someplace else or played in China or something.

Haslem joined the Heat in 2003 after he was undrafted

"But at the end of the day, would it have made me as happy as being around this organization and being around these guys? No, I don't think it would."

This new deal means the Miami native will be with the Heat for more than half of its 31-year history.

"For the hometown kid in me, that means the world," Haslem said. "I wish I understood how big that is right now, because I really don't, but I know it's big."

The three-time champion only played 14 games last season and averaged just 5.1 minutes a night.

He knows he won't have a huge role on the court for the upcoming campaign but his presence in the locker room as a leader and mentor has been crucial to the team.

Head coach Erik Spoelstra values what he brings and a meeting between the two sealed Haslem's return.

"Me and Spo were honest with each other," Haslem said. "Honesty is not always telling somebody what they want to hear.

Erik Spoelstra played a big role in Haslem's decision to return

"And we both have gotten to that point in our careers where we value each other's opinions, whether we want to hear them or not.

"We trust each other. We root for each other. We both have the best interests of this team in mind."

Dwyane Wade took to Twitter to congratulate his longtime friend on his new deal and Haslem confirmed that he's working hard to get the Heat legend to re-sign too.

"My mindset has always been for us to finish it together," he said. "I want us to do a whole season together.

"Experience the road, dinner on the road, go through that whole process. I want us to experience that together."

Miami president Pat Riley has already stated that they are keen to bring Wade back and they'll hope that Haslem's decision will make him follow suit.

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Topics:
Erik Spoelstra
Udonis Haslem
Miami Heat
Dwyane Wade
NBA

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