Udonis Haslem is one of the most respected players in the league. However, from time to time people make fun of his age and the fact that he rarely plays. In particular, Haslem takes issue with the TNT crew and their banter of certain NBA members.
Speaking to Andscape’s Marc J. Spears, the 42-year-old spoke about what it means to be the NBA’s oldest player. Haslem points out that the territory comes with people abusing his gaming abilities.
Although the TNT panel, which consists of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal, are known for their comedic skills and unfiltered sports opinions, the three-time champion is upset about a few of their knocks. Moreover, he is not afraid to inform his contemporaries that he will “break their e**”.
“Oh, hell yeah,” Haslem said. “Listen, I couldn’t wait. I am reading. I hear all the comments and even some of my peers got the occasional joke. But I break theirs too. Some of the guys sitting there behind them are suits on TNT and they get jokes I’d rip their a-up. I’m not here smoking cigarettes and eating chicken.”
Also, Haslem mentions how much work he does. He emphasizes that he must earn the respect of his teammates to carry the title of captain. Therefore, it means being in shape and improving one’s skills just like everyone else.
“I’m getting work done, man,” Haslem added. “That’s what I try to tell people all the time. What people don’t understand is the reverse effect of this, if I’m not in shape and if I can’t compete, then [my teammates] don’t listen to me If I can’t do it, they will say.
I have to earn their respect every year. To be able to have the title of captain. To be able to have the title of someone they respect you and listen to. As much as I hold them accountable, they also hold me accountable. And it goes both ways. So it was fun to get out there and play and show people that it’s a lot of work that I do behind the scenes here. I’m not repulsed drinking coffee with my feet up.”
This is Haslem’s final season in the NBA. Furthermore, he’s looking for his fourth ring with the Heat as Miami takes on Boston in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday.