Thursday, April 18, 2024

Miami Heat’s Adebayo Talks About The “Biggest Transition” Being Heat Captain

Miami's Bam Adebayo wants in on the NBA's list of elite big men - ESPN

Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo has had a lot on his plate this season besides being a focal point to the team’s identity. The big-man has also taken the honor of being the team’s captain after legend Udonis Haslem retired, an opportunity that Adebayo was candid in explaining how it was hard in the first few months according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

“This [expletive] sucks,” Adebayo said. “You can quote me on that, this [expletive] sucks.”

Adebayo continued talking on about the challenging nature of being a captain as everybody on the team needs to buy into the plan and message that he is trying to get through each individual. He had to take into account that his teammates probably don’t feel the same emotions he does, so even relating to his peers was a challenge at first.

“Because you got to understand how to translate messages to everybody because everybody is different and everybody has their own stuff going on,” Adebayo said. “I got my own stuff going on in my mind, how I want to play and how I want to affect the game. And 14 other guys do, too.

“So trying to get 14 other guys to buy into your message, how you’re saying it, get them to buy into what the coach is saying,” Adebayo continued. “It’s tough because guys got dilemmas, guys got feelings.”

Adebayo talks about the “biggest transition” being Heat captain

However, there is no doubt that the stars on the Heat look at Adebayo as the unequivocal leader of the team and the one they look to for answers when they are down. He was especially needed during their previous seven-game skid where the team had a meeting and film session where Adebayo and others kept it real as different players said it was a “vulnerable” time where “things were said that needed to be said.”

If there was one aspect Adebayo had to learn, was that he had to leave himself at the door and focus on others. The Heat’s star big-man said that was “the biggest transition” for him.

“I feel like that’s the biggest transition for me,” Adebayo said. “You can’t think about yourself if you want to be a captain. You have to always give to the team, you have to always give to the coaches. Even sometimes when you don’t feel like it, you still have to.”

Former captain in Haslem gives an assessment on Adebayo

The legend he took the role over from is the aforementioned Haslem who has been a part of the Heat organization for 20 seasons, where in a lot of those, he was the captain. Even when the playing time was pretty much nonexistent as of recent, he was an impactful vocal leader. He commented about Adebayo being a captain as it’s known the two have a close bond.

“It’s been a work in progress,” Haslem said via The Miami Herald. “But the thing about it is he cares. He cares about everybody, he cares about the team, he cares about the organization, he cares about the guys, he cares about winning. So that’s the thing about being a captain — you have to be selfless, not selfish. And he’s very selfless. So that’s the hardest part. He’s got that part covered.”

Haslem talks about the Duncan Robinson-Jaylen Brown exchange

Haslem even talked about the recent situation involving Duncan Robinson and Jaylen Brown when the Heat faced the Boston Celtics on Feb. 11. The two were involved in a heated exchange stemming from a physical play where Haslem expressed that was probably a hard time for Adebayo as a captain.

“I think that was one of the things that bothered Bam as a captain,” Haslem said. “That was one of those situations where as a captain, you got a decision to make. But also, it’s a close game and you can’t get kicked out. But you also have to protect your guys and be there for your guys.

“Like I said, Bam cares. That was a situation where as a captain, I think he wanted to intervene and be a little more involved,” Haslem continued. “But he also understood that the bigger picture is to try to win the basketball game. I respect that about Bam. He called me and we talked about that. He wants to be the best version of himself for the team.”

Adebayo says Haslem and himself talk “almost every day”

As said before, Adebayo and Haslem have developed a close relationship ever since the former was drafted to the Heat in 2017. Haslem served as a mentor for Adebayo as the star said they call each other “almost every day” now that Haslem has retired.

“Obviously, I call him almost every day because he’s one of my best friends,” Adebayo said of his conversations with Haslem. “It’s not just about basketball a lot of times. But when I do pick his brain, he’s fully transparent. He tells me like it is. If we’re not playing defense, he’ll be like: ‘Bam, y’all ain’t play no damn defense.’ And those are always the conversations that we have and the dialogue when it comes to the team.”

While Haslem is no longer sitting on the bench for the team and not playing, he is still with the organization in a front office role as he is the Vice President of Player Development. The Heat are 30-25 which puts them seventh in the Eastern Conference as their next game is against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

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