Udonis Haslem is the subject of Tyler Tynes' latest profile in GQ. Just a few days ago I wondered what exactly he was still doing in uniform for the Miami Heat and it turns out the answer is exactly what anyone thought: being president and CEO of Heat Culture. Via GQ:
I hold that standard. I’m the OG. I control the locker room. Pretty much, [Erik Spoelstra] gives me the reins to run [the team]. He trusts me, it’s a trust we’ve built over the years. He leads and I bring up the rear. Everything in between, we handle: Weights, body fat, conditioning, extra shots, two on two games upstairs, we have a standard. Every day before a game: it’s me and Jimmy Butler playing one on one upstairs [in the facility]. The young guys who are not in the rotation play two on two or three on three. You’re expected to fall in line with these things when you get here.
And when someone doesn't fall in line?
Well….I done tried to kill a few muhfuckas in here for sure! They had to break it up! I ain’t sayin’ no names! They know who they is. I done had to put my hands on some people before! It’s just what it is.
Even when people do fall in line, there are still disagreements. Like the time Gary Payton came after him with a broomstick or Shaq threw him like a "sack of potato chips." It is really a great look at the heartbeat of Heat Culture. Especially the part about the NBA Bubble in 2020.
When we first walked in the bubble I let my guys know: get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I set the tone for my guys: I slept on the couch. I wanted to be the first one to make myself uncomfortable. I ordered a whole load of Campbell’s Soup and a bunch of snacks that I like, and got a little water bottle and filled it up with a little Hennessy, and had a lil’ Tequila on the side. I tapped into that dark place to go out there and get it done. I didn’t speak to nobody.
This is incredible commitment for a guy who did not enter a single game at Disney. It makes you wonder what will happen when Haslem retires. Will Heat Culture wither and die? Can anyone really carry on this legacy?