Ira Winderman: Udonis Haslem and his Heat road from Mr. 305 to suburban 954 dad

Over the upcoming week, Mr. 305 deservedly will be honored for 20 seasons of service to team and community by the Miami Heat.

Born and raised in the hardscrabble inner-city of Miami, few players, in any sport, are as identified with their hometown than Udonis Haslem.

And yet, for these past two decades, Mr. 305 has actually been Mr. 954, living first in Davie upon his Heat arrival and now in the semi-rural setting of Southwest Ranches.

By no means has that meant turning his back on his roots, just as often found in Miami-Dade with his philanthropic and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Just a husband and father, like many husbands and fathers, seeking the better life for his family that he only could imagine growing up.

To Haslem, Broward is the oasis, while Miami-Dade remains the pride.

The tranquility of the suburbs, he said, allows the passion to flourish both in the locker room and in the community when he crosses the county line.

“I always wanted land,” the Heat’s 42-year-old captain said recently by his locker at Miami-Dade Arena. “There’s not very much land in Miami. You might get a half an acre, an acre lot. But I needed like four acres, and I knew where I could find that.

“I wanted my own peace and my own little compound. And when I leave from everything that I’ve got to deal with, I can go there and recharge and do whatever I need to do and get ready for the next day.”

And, yes, like the rest of South Florida’s commuters, there is a tradeoff, the traffic tradeoff.

The timing of many Heat practices and shootarounds means morning rush hour.

“You got to ask my drivers,” Haslem said with a laugh when asked about the a.m. chaos. “I’m on my fourth one. The fact that I’m on the fourth one, it …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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