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Heat lifer Udonis Haslem pulling for friend LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers

Udonis Haslem has been watching the NBA Finals with a rooting interest. 

He wants his buddies LeBron James and James Jones -- former Heat teammates -- to win the NBA title.

LeBorn-UDThat might sound like blasphemy to diehard Heat fans still hung up on the fact James jilted the Heat to return to Cleveland and play hometown hero. But not to Haslem, who obviously still maintains a close relationship with his former Heat teammates.

"I would love to see those guys get a ring," Haslem said Thursday after signing autographs and posing for pictures at one of the Heat's local youth basketball camps at South Broward High School. "If they lose, it's no sweat off my back. But if they win -- obviously with the relationship I have with them -- I'd be very happy for them."

The Cavs entered Game 6 of the NBA Finals Thursday night trailing the Warriors 3-2 in the series. But Haslem said he felt good about Cleveland's chances of pushing the series to at least seven games.

"I've been watching a little bit," Haslem said of the Finals. "Cleveland played great [in Game 5]. LeBron played great. Kyrie [Irving] played great. That's the kind of performance they needed to stay alive. I think they've got a chance tonight. I think they've found something with kind of sliding Richard Jefferson into that starting lineup a little bit. That's kind of worked out well for them. Even with Draymond [Green] in the game I still think its probably their best lineup to start the game with. I think Kevin Love will get going. If he gets going that only makes them more dangerous. But I think they win tonight and I think they push it to seven.

"I wasn't saying that earlier, but I'm singing a different tune now."

Back in March, LeBron paid Haslem quite the compliment when he said the Cavaliers lacked an enforcer like Haslem, who obviously helped James win two titles with the Heat.

Haslem, who turned 36 last week, will become a free agent on July 1. He said last month during the Heat's playoff run he felt like he could have played more minutes than he did this season and was frustrated by his lack of playing time.

Haslem reiterated Thursday he feels like he can give a team "10 to 15 to 20 minutes" a game if needed and that he's in good enough shape to play at least another two seasons. 

At his end of the season press conference last month, team president Pat Riley referred to Haslem as "a forever guy" with the Heat along with Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning.

Still, could you imagine if Haslem left the Heat to join LeBron in Cleveland? I'm not sure how Riley and Heat nation would swallow that one. 

Or, maybe Haslem knows something we don't. Maybe if the Cavs win, LeBron will come back to Miami. 

Or, maybe he's just being a good friend. 




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