Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra announced Tuesday that Udonis Haslem would be starting Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers.
It's a move that, frankly, should've been done in Game 1.
UD brings height, defensive intensity, and a scowling badassery to the Heat that they were sorely lacking in Game 1. He can also handle the likes of Ent-like David West and Roy Hibbert.
But most importantly, UD brings emotion, heart, and blue collar righteousness to the Heat, as he has so many times before in his championship career.
So, before Game 2 tips off, let's re-visit UD's six greatest moments as a Miami Heat.6. That Time UD Wouldn't Help ZaZa Pachullia Up Because UD Helps No Man
The Hawks' ZaZa Pachullia is an annoying menace. UD is an enforcer. So when he knocks your ass down, stay down and wait for your friends to help you up. UD ain't gonna do it. That's not how enforcers do.5. That Time UD Dunked On MVP/Sour Puss Face Derrick Rose
In 2011 everyone was all about how amazing Chicago Bulls point guard HumbleGrump Derrick Rose was. The media awarded him the league MVP because he didn't smile, even though LeBron was clearly the better player. Ain't no thing, because in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Rose's Bulls, Udonis Haslem, Righteous Destroyer of Asses, not only provided an emotional spark, but also managed to throw down 13 points and five rebounds while adding two face crushing dunks on Rose and Keith Bogans. UD's daring quest of heroic awesomeness off the bench was the difference in the game, and the Heat ultimately won the series.4. That Time UD Gave David West The Dirty Pants
Clearly UD doesn't give a single fuck if you walk around scowling at people (see above). Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals last year. There was the Pacers' David West, making his stupid frumpy faces and trying to be menacing towards Heat players. West likes to use his size and sour puss face to try and intimidate people. The Heat use UD and his amazing powers of being a total real-life badass. Credit West for not completely crumbling into a puddle of urine like a melting snowman. Still, UD made it clear. Don't fuck with us, dude. Then the Heat went on to win the series.3. That Time UD Took Tyler Hansbrough's Nuts
Tyler Hansbrough fancies himself a tough dude. If rumbling up and down the basketball court like a roided Clydesdale is considered "tough." And in the 2012 playoffs, Hansbrough tried to show just how tough he is by swatting his big oafy white man arms down on to Dwyane Wade's head, opening a cut over his right eye. Not long after that, Haslem went up and unleashed his wrath on Hansbrough, because no one fucks with D-Wade and gets away without feeling the wrath of UD's awesomeness. UD was ultimately suspended for a game after that. But it was well worth it. Because Haslem sent out a message to any and all who forget: If you're thinking of fucking around... DON'T.
2. That Time UD Destroyed The Pacers With Blood All Over His Face UD has had many a great moment as a member of the Miami Heat. Diving for loose balls, dunking on fools, hitting his Js from the elbow, and making dudes crap their pants with a mere look. But nothing embodied the soul and spirit of UD more than when he got inadvertently elbowed over the eye, and kept playing anyway.
Against the Pacers in the 2012 playoffs, UD was struck by Pacers player, opening a gash over his eye. Blood spewed down his face that would later require stitches. He got a bandage on it, came back into the game, and hit a 12 footer, a 14 footer, then an 11 footer in succession. He finished the game with 14 points and would play the rest of the series with a white patch over his stitches.
1. That Time UD Took Less Money To Help The Heat Win Championships In 2010, UD was averaging 9.9 points per game, along with 8.1 rebounds. He was at the top of his game, and established himself as the blue collar player every NBA team wants and needs. So, as an impending free agent, UD was poised to make some serious bank anywhere he pleased. Miami simply wouldn't be able to match or beat any offer that came his way from any other team. But instead of raking it in, Haslem decided to stick around for less money, taking a pay cut to make room for LeBron James and Chris Bosh. In his first season of the Big Three Era, UD made less than he did in his previous years combined.
And then he proceeded to wreck much ass, and help the Heat become a budding dynasty.