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Udonis Haslem calls out NBA on TNT crew for their jokes: ‘I would tear their a** up’

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 08: Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat warms up prior to a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami-Dade Arena on March 08, 2023 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Udonis Haslem is one of the most respected players in the league. However, from time to time people will poke fun at his age and the fact that he seldom plays. Specifically, Haslem takes issue with certain members of the NBA on TNT crew and their jokes.

While speaking with Andscape’s Marc J. Spears, the 42-year-old talked about what it’s like being the oldest player in the NBA. Haslem highlights that the territory comes with people maligning his playing ability. 

Despite the TNT panel — consisting of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal — being known for their comedic prowess and unfiltered sports opinions, the three-time champion gets exasperated with some of their jabs. Furthermore, he has no qualms about letting his contemporaries know that he would “bust their a** too.”

“Oh, hell, yeah,” Haslem said. “Listen, I couldn’t wait. I read. I hear all the comments, and even some of my peers, every now and then they got jokes to crack. But I bust their a– too. Some of the guys that sit up in there behind them suits at TNT and they got jokes, I would tear their a– up. I ain’t up here smoking cigarettes and eating chicken.”

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 18: Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat reacts after making a basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half at FTX Arena on March 18, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Additionally, Haslem delineates how much work he puts in. He emphasizes that he must earn his teammates’ respect to hold the title of captain. Consequently, that means staying in shape and honing his skills, just like everybody else.

“I’m getting work done, man,” Haslem added. “That’s what I try to tell people all the time. What people don’t understand is the reverse effect of this is, if I’m not in shape and if I can’t compete, then [my teammates] don’t listen to me. If I can’t do this, they going to be like, ‘Man, OK, respectfully, OG, we love you, but get your a– out of here.’

I have to earn their respect every year. To be able to have the title of captain. To be able to have the title of somebody that they respect you and listen to. As much as I hold them accountable, they hold me accountable as well. And it goes both ways. So, it was fun to go out there and play, and show to people that it’s a lot of work that I get done behind the scenes here. I’m not just kicking back drinking coffee with my feet up.”

This is Haslem’s last season in the NBA. Moreover, he is looking for his fourth ring with the Heat, as Miami takes on Boston in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday.