Udonis Haslem knows up close and personal what it’s like to play with LeBron James on a championship team, and he lets us know.
The Miami Heat had their most successful era in franchise history with a Big 3 of James, Wade, and Bosh. The trio reached 4 straight NBA Finals, winning the championship in 2012 and 2013.
Doing so, the Heat had to give up several first round picks in a sign-and-trade for James and for Bosh. They got a pretty sweet deal overall, but there may have been GMs who wouldn’t have agreed to those moves.
Haslem recognizes how that might be the case, and he explained how it all worked out with Pat Riley for the Miami Heat during the most fruitful era in their franchise history.
Udonis Haslem talks about the impact of signing LeBron James
In an interview with former teammate James Posey, Haslem made it clear that playing with LeBron James is not for the light- or faint-hearted.
“If you can handle LeBron coming to your team, it works out for you and it can be successful. The problem is: Everybody can’t handle it. When LeBron comes to your team, there’s winning expectations instantly. No waiting, no four or five-year process; there ain’t none of that.”
“When we put the Big Three together, I had competed with [Dwyane Wade] all my life. We kind of knew what LeBron was about. I wanted to see what [Bosh] was about… I knew he averaged 20 [points] over there in Toronto, but let’s see. And he earned my respect.”
Both Haslem and Posey praised Bosh for taking a smaller role with the Heat in an effort to win.
“It was crazy because, whether the public thought C.B. took a lesser role or how it looked on the outside, we always knew he was probably the most important piece,” Posey said.
“You look at them — the Dion Waiters, the James Johnsons, the Tyler Johnsons, the Hassan Whitesides — you look at all these guys where NBA teams were either sending them to the G League or weren’t giving them a chance, and [some were] undrafted and could’ve been out of the league,” Haslem said.