Haslem returning for 18th season with Heat

12:18 PM ET

Associated Press

MIAMI — Udonis Haslem announced Friday that he’s returning for an 18th season with the Miami Heat, and left the door open for extending his career after that.

Only five NBA players have spent a career of that length with one franchise. Dirk Nowitzki spent 21 years with Dallas, Kobe Bryant 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, Tim Duncan spent 19 with San Antonio, John Stockton spent 19 with Utah and Reggie Miller spent 18 with Indiana.

Haslem doesn’t play regularly and hasn’t for years: He got into just four games last season and has scored 76 points in the past four seasons combined. His impact on the team comes from what he says and does in the locker room, and that’s why Heat coach Erik Spoelstra lobbied for Haslem to come back.

“He’s just an incredible rock of stability and leadership and mentorship,” Spoelstra said during the NBA Finals last month. “That’s at all levels. It’s not just to our young players. It’s to our veteran players. And he provides just great guidance and mentorship to this head coach as well. I love him.”

So will this be the end?

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