Haslem: “I’m always going to be a Hurricane”

By Adam Silverstein
September 22, 2010

From 1998 to 2002, Miami Heat power forward Udonis Haslem attended the University of Florida and played basketball for the Florida Gators. He was so instrumental to Florida’s success, in fact, that upon graduation he was the winningest player in school history, the first player in team history to play on four consecutive NCAA Tournament teams and only the second UF player to be named to the first three Associated Press All-America teams.

For Haslem, though, his time playing in Gainesville, FL was a business decision – one made to further his athletic career. When it comes down to loyalty, for the Miami native, it is apparently all about The U.

“A lot of people are probably going to be mad at me, but at the end of the day I only know one thing and that’s loyalty,” Haslem said Tuesday on the Dan LeBatard Show on 790 The Ticket in South Florida. “In my house growing up, you were a Hurricane or you were homeless. I went to the University of Florida, which was a business decision. You have business decisions in life. And I love the Gators, I love coach [Billy] Donovan, I love the opportunity that they gave me. But I’m always going to be a Hurricane in my heart and I’m always going to root for the Canes.”

When pressed on the subject, Haslem admitted that his love for the Hurricanes stemmed from growing up as a big fan of the football team. As far as basketball goes, he still apparently bleeds orange and blue.

“[To] be honest with you, growing up, I was a football player. I played football all the way up to 10th grade. So the only thing that mattered to me was Hurricane football,” he said. “Basketball? I’m going with the Gators. I played for the Gator basketball team.”

Haslem also recounted a story about bumping into former teammate Teddy Dupay immediately after the Heat won the 2006 NBA Title. He said while the entire team (players, coaches, trainers) was celebrating on the court in Dallas, TX, he turned around and saw Dupay right beside him and had no idea how he got there.

“That’s my boy. Me and Teddy go back to high school where we played against him all the way to the state championship. We beat him pretty bad. Ted’s a great guy and we still keep in touch.”

College thoughts aside, Haslem has now set his sights on a second NBA title, which he will pursue with the triumvirate of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

20 Comments

  1. brlgator says:

    um….ouch

  2. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    So when he got pulled over with pot should that be associated with the Gators or Dah U?

  3. APKGATOR says:

    LOL just add one more reson i cant stand the Miami Heat… Go Magic!! and Go Gators!!

  4. SacramentoGator says:

    I guess you can take boy out of the hood, but can’t take the hood out of him..wow all the sudden I hate the heat even more.

  5. Luke says:

    Who cares what’s in his heart when he played for UF and was instrumental in our success? It’s got to be tough rooting for UM football, but since we rarely play each other, I’d have to believe that Udonis is a Gator fan when they’re playing anyone but Miami.

    It’s pretty nice that UF is a business decision and UM is just about loyalty. I’d say the same goes for football as of late (in that it’s a better career decision to go to UF over UM).

  6. decagator says:

    I heard this interview yesterday and I was utterly disgusted. How can I think of this guy in the same light?Someone should remind Udonis that you owe more to your school than to a team you used to associate yourself with as a kid. It was a gross interview.

  7. John says:

    Dead to me.

  8. erng 'n blu says:

    F’ him. This wouldn’t be the first dope that I knew of that went to UF and denounced them for the phUw. I guess being “loyal” to your hood rats that get U arrested and brought up on drug charges is more important than being loyal to the insitution that paved your way for success.

  9. Obgator says:

    I feel betrayed. I went to UF for ugrad and UM for grad school buy the Gators are my only team. Basketball and football. To top it off Im from sfla as well. Orange and blue all the way.

    Haslem should reconsider his loyalties.

  10. Fish-Gator-59 says:

    Sounds like he is smoking soemthing that is making him hallucinate.

  11. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Thanks for blind siding us there Udonis. I officially have no more respect for you now.

    A$$ hole.

  12. DCgator says:

    Yuck.

    I thought I could see past his atrocious taste in cities, but this is unforgivable.

  13. swampbabe says:

    Yeah, looks like the Lebron show has sucked in yet another glory hound looking to make a name from himself in Mi-Hammy. From here on out I’ll be rooting for WHOEVER is playing the Heat.

  14. JW says:

    U-D is getting a bad rap here. He’s a good guy. As a Gator fan, I’m disappointed that he’s always going to root for the Canes when it comes to football, but it’s somewhat understandable given that Miami is where he grew up and where he’s played his entire NBA career.

  15. Joe says:

    That’s all BS. I grew up watching UM in Miami, all my friends are Canes fans. I WAS a diehard Cane but come on dude, that’s the biggest crock ever he has no relation to UM at all other than being a resident!

  16. The U says:

    This is why the U is THE best school in Florida. We breed loyalty. We don’t have a ‘team’ we have a family. And most of all, our alumni NEVER turn their back on the Orange and Green. But it’s a Cane’s thing and you wouldn’t understand.

  17. what it means to like the U says:

    you don’t have to be a student to like the university of miami. that is why the U is so unique. the U is a symbol of the whole city of Miami whereas other college sports isn’t. the U documentary has shown this to be true. besides, the school’s so small that not a lot of fans have connections to the school anyway.

  18. ATL11 says:

    Lol @ bitter Gator Fans having to pull the hood crap!! Coral Gables over Gainesville any day!!! Plus, let us not talk about the hood rats you guys have been putting out on the field the last 7 or so years.

  19. rob20192 says:

    And then you guys wonder why he cheers for UM, you guys talk about being loyal to the school and what not but as soon as he admits this you guys start trashing him and being totally disrespectful towards UD. He is grateful for what UF has done for him and he still roots for the basketball team as that was who he played for. You guys are mad because he cheers for the football team in Miami? It is kind of hard to just start hating a team that you loved since you were a little kid just because you went to another institution for your education. Not to mention the fact that UF is scared of playing UM does it really matter if he cheers for UM over UF when it comes to football? You guys need to get checked out because life is more than just college football and you shouldn’t bash another human being for preferring something that you don’t and vice versa. I doubt he would talk crap about you guys cheering for UF over UM like you guys are doing to him

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