As a 17-year veteran with numerous trips to the postseason under his belt, Udonis Haslem knows what it’s like to deal with moments that require one to be mentally prepared. And as the Heat‘s June 8 arrival at Disney World approaches, Haslem’s ready to keep his teammates in check from all excuses.
“It’s not the most ideal situation,” Haslem said when asked on his thoughts of the NBA’s return to play. “It’s nothing that we could have prepared for. We’ve seen nothing like this in sports in my lifetime. So to sit around and complain about it, it doesn’t do any good.
“Can’t speak for everybody else, but my guys are going to go out there and be ready to get it done.”
As for what will help the Miami Heat outmatch opponents that stand in their direction, Haslem told ESPN’s The Jump that mental toughness will lead the way at the World Wide of Sports Complex.
The Miami Heat currently sit at the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference standings, recording a 41-24 record prior to the NBA’s hiatus. Miami has already clinched a trip to the playoffs, along with a Southeast Division title.
“I mean, I like our chances just as good as anybody or better,” the Heat captain said. “I think we probably have a better chance than anybody. Now it’s mental. When you talk about a mentally tough team, I don’t think there’s any more mental tough team in the NBA. So I like our chances just as good or more than anybody.”
Haslem expressed confidence that the Disney campus could serve as an advantage for the Heat’s younger players, including Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Derrick Jones Jr., Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn.
“They got their video games and their Wi-Fi, so I think they’ll be all right,” he said in a joking manner. “Listen, as long as they got the Fortnite, however you spell it, and the 2K, they’ll be all right.”
On the other hand, Haslem, 40, knows it’ll take some time for himself, along with the team’s veterans, to accustom themselves to the league’s bubble.
“I’m going to be the guy that has to figure it out. Jimmy’s going to have to figure it out,” he said, referring to Jimmy Butler. “Jimmy’s a guy who doesn’t play much golf, and there’s no country saloons around for him to go dancing. So, I don’t know if they got that on that campus. So guys like myself and Jimmy, us boring, plain guys, we’re going to have to figure something out.