It’s been a tense time for Udonis Haslem, sweating out of these playoffs, stakes raised, the clock is ticking.
Oh, and he’s also been involved in the Miami Heat’s championship chase.
Consider it the square of the playoffs for the South Florida icon, as even the veteran Heat captain can’t get enough of his Florida Panthers.
“It’s exciting, really exciting,” Haslem said while chasing his own playoff, with both teams now in the next round. “The way they have been able to play this year has caught my attention,” he said.
In some ways, Haslem is a typical middle-aged (sorry, UD) suburbanite caught up in the NHL, with the FLA Live Arena in Sunrise a short drive from its Southwest Ranch estate.
“They’re keeping me on the edge of my seat,” he said. “It really is something.”
However, the relationship to the sport and the Panthers goes much further than the close.
It is also about a brotherhood, a fellowship, the ability to see oneself in those who have iced their careers.
In addition to his friendship with Panthers forward Anthony Duclair, he has formed a bond with Brett Peterson, the first Black assistant general manager in the NHL.
“As I started to stuff stuff toward retirement and ownership and various things like that,” Haslem, 41, said, “I just wanted to align myself with like-minded people who could teach me things.” That’s why I’m becoming a sponge.”
Peterson said there was an instant connection.
Peterson, who spent five seasons playing minor-league hockey after four seasons in Boston, said, “You look at UD’s career and he’s an undrafted player and the success he’s had is a three-time champion, and I There was also an undraft.” college, and then became a player agent before taking on his current Panthers role.
“We had some mutual relations. But then we did an event called 28 Days of Black Excellence with the Panthers and UD was a participant in that 28 days. And the whole idea of 28 Days was to highlight the diversity within our community and shine a light on what we are doing. ,
Peterson said the goal is for himself, Haslem, to serve as Duclair beacon.
“As players,” he said, “we emulate our favorite player and we know who he is and we aspire to be that player. And one of the things I wanted to highlight is this There’s another way out for all of us. And I think there’s a lot of untapped excellence.”
Shedding light, Peterson also opened a special eye.
“I love hockey,” Haslem said as he exited the practice session.
Nevertheless, the Panthers’ early-round series win resulted in a home dispute.
“It’s been a very disturbing time,” Haslem said with a smile. “My wife is from DC. Obviously she’s a Capitals fan. So it’s a little bit of an internal rivalry.”
To which Peterson was laughing.
“You have to live somewhere,” he said. “So I feel for UD.”
The goal, Pietersen said, is to have as many simultaneous Heats and Panthers playoffs as possible.
“I grew up in Boston,” Peterson said, “and we had the privilege of having a tremendous sports team that was all cohesive and all had success at the same time. I saw the Red Sox pull for the Bruins, and the Bruins. Pulled for the Patriots, and the Celtics pulled for the Patriots.
“And we had the experience that this was essentially our city as a sports team. I think that’s important, because it inspired each franchise to be the best version of themselves.”
Stylistically, the Heat and the Panthers displayed contrasting approaches, with the Heat with its defensive turn, the Panthers with their record-setting scoring.
“It’s really exciting, really exciting. Teams don’t score goals at the pace the Panthers do,” Haslem said. “The way they score goals and come back, it’s crazy.”
Peterson said the commonality is the organizational drive and the championship vision.
As far as Haslem is concerned, who already has three championships to go with it’s all about expanding his horizons, Mr 305 is chilling with what is happening in 954.
“It’s part of my overall growth as Mr. Florida,” he said with a smile. “I’m just expanding from Mr. Miami to Mr. Florida. It’s a great time to be in downtown Miami. But it’s also a great time to be in the state of Florida.”
in the lane
Everyone wins: When it comes to playoff awards, the NBA has it covered like never before. In addition to naming trophies for playoff conference champions, bob koozie trophy for the former winner and Oscar Robertson The trophy for the winner of the West will, for the first time, also be the trophy for the MVP of each of the two conference finals. larry bird The MVP will go to the pre-finals of the trophy, the magic johnson Trophies in the West What this move does not address is that voting for the annual awards still does not include the playoffs. So the league MVP (Nikola Jokic) gets out in the first round, while the other leading contenders play. Play well in the NBA Finals or Conference Finals, get rewards. Play well in the first and second rounds, and nothing matters (except moving forward, of course). Take Jimmy Butler, for example, it appears that his playoff game should have a greater impact on the All-NBA or other awards. Instead, that clock ends after the first 82, a game with significantly less meaning.
Better Way: because he found his way, James Harden He proved impotent as he was with the 76ers for his playoff series against the Heat. But he made his way up by essentially leaving the Brooklyn Nets and forcing his midseason trade. In his postseason recap, Sean Marksthe former Heat center and current Nets general manager said last week, “I think it’s foolish to try to change their minds when players have made up their mind. Paying a guy $30-plus million dollars and it doesn’t work, you have to make a decision. I think that’s something we did. We turned around quickly. and can play fairly. that, among all the NBA personnel issues, there is a commissioner Adam Silver Will have to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Back At It: Mario Chalmers, who received a 10-day contract from the Heat but never saw action during the team’s mid-season COVID outbreak, is returning to the Halfcourt Big3 summer circuit with a twist. According to Chalmers’ former Heat teammate, ESPN’s endscape site, Chalmers has been appointed as coach of 3S Company, which is expected to add to the three-man squad. Michael Beasley as a co-captain. Chalmers finished this past season with the Heat’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Joined together: heat guard Kyle Lowry The July 10-16 U.S. Century Championships in Lake Tahoe in July is one of those competing in the celebrity golf event. This is also an area earmarked to contain Justin Timberlake, Charles Barkley and former heat guard ray allen,
reality check: With the Heat’s defense flourishing in the second round as well, it meant the Atlanta Hawks guard Trey Young To tackle a clip of how the Heat suffocated him in the first round. Regarding the hangover from his team that fell 4–1 in the first round to the Heat, Young told the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “It was mentally and what I was like at the moment, remember from the game, but some moments like that. are still who they are Still watch. It’s like, I can get better, and I know I will.”
huh?: What went wrong for the 76ers in the second round against the Heat was perhaps nothing surprising, as the 76ers were running their offense during the third quarter of their win-or-may-be Game 6 loss. . , , shake milton, “We were looking for whatever we could get at the time,” 76ers coach Doctor Rivers said. “It’s not a good place, but it was where we were and you try to do what you can to take away your guilt.”
22-5. Heat records, regular season and playoffs, this season with Max Strauss as starter.