At the time, Udonis Haslem was accustomed to being spoiled at the University of Florida. There, he had a training staff available to provide whatever he needed. That changed when he left college and played professionally for one season in France. Haslem quickly learned this wasn't Gainesville when there was no trainer in the locker room to tape his ankle before the game. "I was like, 'man, I can't tape my own ankle,' " Haslem recalled. A few days later, he was surprised by a package in the mail. Help came from a reliable source. Mike Miller, then in his second NBA season, offered an assist to his old college teammate by sending a box of ankle braces. Stories as such are plenty in a friendship that has spanned a decade. The fact the Heat are just three wins from an NBA title is the headline, but the fine print is Haslem and Miller together again chasing a championship that eluded them in college. "We never lost contact," Haslem said. "… We always stayed in contact no matter what. When Mike was in Orlando [with the Magic], I was only an hour away in Gainesville. We always talked." Eleven years ago, Miller was a high-flying combo guard at Florida. Haslem was a power forward with a mean streak. Together, they led the Gators to the NCAA championship game, where they were defeated by Michigan State. They were both sophomores, figuring they would get another chance to win a ring together. It never happened because Miller left for the NBA following that season. The coming years led to them going their separate ways, but they were reunited last summer when Miller joined the Heat.
'Unfinished business' for Heat's Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Jun 5