Udonis Haslem still lobbying for Dwyane Wade to finish career with Miami Heat

Udonis Haslem would like to finish he career beside his ‘brother’ Dwyane Wade. (AP Photo)

HOLLYWOOD – Decked out in green apron and making sure not to confuse a Subway club with an Italian B.M.T., Udonis Haslem – along with partner Jason Taylor – waited on customers at his newest Subway restaurant.

But whether he’s serving footlongs or guesting on the radio, Haslem has become the foremost authority on all things Dwyane Wade.

On Saturday, Haslem reiterated his desire to see Wade return to Miami, the city where he played his first 13 years in the NBA before bolting for Chicago. Wade exercised the option in his contract this summer and will earn $23.8 million. But speculation began immediately of a buyout that would allow the 35-year-old Wade to sign with any other team.

“I would love to have him back, everybody knows that,” Haslem said. “Not only is he a great competitor, great teammate I learned a lot from but also a friend of mine, I consider him a brother.

“I just want Dwyane to be happy. This is the last lap for us both. We deserve to finish it the right way. Whatever makes him happy finishing his career. … hopefully it’s in Miami. I would love for it to be Miami. I want him to finish it right and have no regrets.

Udonis Haslem

Haslem and Wade joined the Heat in 2003 and played together for the next 13 seasons. They remain close friends despite Wade’s decision last summer to sign with his hometown team.

“We talked about finishing our careers together,” Haslem said. “We really want it to be the case. Plans change. So if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t put any strain on our relationship but it’s still a goal of mine. Hopefully we can end it that way.”

But Haslem, who signed a one-year deal this summer for the $2.3 million minimum, said he really can’t help the Heat when it comes to paying Wade. “I will have to take another pay cut to get him back (but) I’m already taking the minimum so I can’t give no money,” Haslem joked.

Miami, though, is holding onto a $4.3 million exception that president Pat Riley has said is there to see if “something pops up.”

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