MIAMI — Udonis Haslem has a big decision to make this offseason regarding his future, but he’s not going to rush it.
The 37-year-old still isn’t sure if he will continue his playing career. Haslem just knows he wants to have a little more fun this offseason whether he decides to retire or return to the Heat for a 16th season.
We caught up with Haslem at a Sunday appearance at the Miami Heat Store in Miami’s Dolphin Mall. Here’s what he had to say …
Q: You’ve been a part of so many events where you’ve had the opportunity to interact with people from South Florida. Does this stuff ever get old for you?
Udonis: “Not for me. It’s always been important to me just to stay grounded. I got my family and friends around me, the people that tell you the truth even though you don’t want to hear it sometimes. And I have an opportunity come out, it’s an hour out my day just to let the people that have been supporting me over the years and been there for me and I’ve relied on when I’ve needed strength and stuff like that. It’s real easy for me.”
Q: What’s this offseason been like for you? Has it been different than the rest with retirement looming as a possibility?
Udonis: “I’ve been having fun, but I’m handling my business. But I’m making sure I’m having a lot of fun, making sure I have more fun than usual. But definitely handling my business, staying in shape and working out and taking care of my business as far as my stores and franchises and different things like that. So just the usual summer for me, but just trying to have a little more fun with it.”
Q: What kind of fun are you having this offseason?
Udonis: “Oh, man. Chasing my kids around, doing back flips in my pool. Just kiddie stuff. Just being a kid, man. Sometimes time flies and you’re so invested in looking ahead and building and grinding that you forget to enjoy it a little bit. So this summer I just wanted to make sure I took my time to just enjoy it.”
Q: Where do you stand in the decision-making process regarding whether you will continue your playing career or retire?
Udonis: “I’m just enjoying the summer. I talk to my guys. I just talked to Bam [Adebayo] yesterday, I talked to JJ [James Johnson], talked to Wayne [Ellington] and Tyler [Johnson]. I keep in touch with all the guys. We’re still family. We’ll see what it is. I got time. There’s really no rush right now. I’m just enjoying my family and my summer.”
Q: Does anything about LeBron James’ historic postseason surprise you?
Udonis: “Nah. I’m not surprised at all, man. He continues to just raise the bar. He continues to go above and beyond what people expect he’s capable of doing. I’m a fan, I’m a friend and I’m rooting for him. So hopefully he can get [Game 2].”