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Udonis Haslem’s ‘Worst Fight’ With A Teammate Involved Gary Payton Trying To Hit Him With A Broomstick

Miami Heat center Udonis Haslem is roughly a week into his 20th NBA season. At 41 years of age, he’s the league’s oldest active player. With those two decades of experience come an array of tales, so he recently spoke with GQ’s Tyler R. Tynes to share some of those stories.

The entire piece is worth reading, both because of Haslem’s candid nature and Tynes’ gifted interview skills, but one segment might stand out: brawls Haslem deems the best and worst of his NBA tenure.
“Worst fight? Me and Gary Payton got into it at practice once. I don’t know what we were talking about, but sh*t went left,” Haslem said. “We started arguing and Gary went and got a broomstick! Pat [Riley] kicked us outta practice. We had a game that night and me and Gary didn’t speak the whole game. He was finna hit me wit’ a broomstick!”

The best fight, in his view, was one he tried to prevent during Shaquille O’Neale’s time with the Heat that involved Haslem learning first-hand that Shaq is one of the biggest and strongest humans to ever live.

“Best fight? Probably the one when Shaq and Pat got into it. It wasn’t even a fight, they were just going at it. The fight was me trying to hold Shaq back and he threw me like a sack of potato chips,” Haslem said. “I’m trying to save Pat’s old ass and Shaq grabbed me and swung me. He threw me down like that and I was just trying to stop him. Imagine if he really wanted a piece of me? I would’ve had to tase him!”

There has long been a level of intensity that comes with playing for the Heat — Haslem discusses the famed “Heat Culture” on multiple times, and yes, it is as demanding as it sounds. That can, invariably, lead to tensions running high. Hopefully they’ve learned form this, though, and they now put broomsticks away when things boil over just in case.