Boston Celtics

Udonis Haslem responds to Jayson Tatum's shot at Miami

“I think he’s still drunk from the party."

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Jayson Tatum couldn't turn down the opportunity to troll the Miami Heat before the Boston Celtics' championship parade on Friday. Predictably, his comment didn't sit well with longtime Heat big man Udonis Haslem.

After defeating the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals on Monday, Tatum and the C's celebrated their NBA title in Miami, where they've spent plenty of time over the last three years. Boston and Miami faced off in three consecutive postseason series with the Celtics winning two of them, including this year's first-round meeting.

NBC Sports Boston's Brian Scalabrine asked Tatum about going to Miami and the team's history there, and the C's superstar simply couldn't resist.

"You guys have been on a lot of trips to Miami," Scalabrine said. "A lot of hard-fought trips to Miami. Was this one a little sweeter taking that trip down?"

"They always easy," Tatum answered.

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Haslem, who played for the Heat from 2003-23 and currently serves as the team's vice president of basketball development, responded to Tatum's jab on ESPN's SportsCenter.

“I think he’s still drunk from the party,” Haslem said. “He’s gotta still be tipsy from the party, there’s no way he could believe that. It’s OK, that’s what he’s supposed to say. Congratulations to the Boston Celtics. I ain’t gonna be no hater, we understand they’re the champs. We’re going to get fully healthy, then we’ll see what happens.”

Tatum is 8-4 in Miami in his playoff career, including a Game 7 Eastern Conference Finals victory in 2022 and a 2-0 record in the 2024 first round. The Celtics are 7-1 in their last eight road playoff games vs. the Heat.

Still, Haslem believes Miami will be the biggest threat to Boston in the Eastern Conference next season. He made the argument later in the day on ESPN's First Take.

"I'm tired of this," he said. "Duncan Robinson, Terry Rozier, Jimmy Butler, a young superstar in Bam Adebayo, a young superstar in Tyler Herro, Jaime Jaquez Jr., (Nikola) Jovic. Why don't nobody ever say the Miami Heat? The last four or five years, it's come down to the Miami Heat or the Boston Celtics. Milwaukee snuck themselves in there, but it's come down to the Miami Heat or the Boston Celtics. And we've got La Spoelstra Nostra (coach Erik Spoelstra).

"So I'm sitting here asking, why don't nobody ever say the Miami Heat? A healthy Miami Heat is the team that can challenge Boston, because we've done it the last four out of five years. I'm sick of this, man. This gotta stop. The Heat hate gotta stop."

Miami's success next season could hinge on Jimmy Butler, who has recently been the subject of trade rumors. Haslem seems convinced Butler isn't going anywhere.

"No, we do know we're going to have our best player," he added when Butler's uncertain future was mentioned. "You ain't heard us say he's going nowhere, we just hear ya'll saying he going somewhere. Ain't none of us saying he's going somewhere."

Butler missed the entire first-round series vs. Boston due to an MCL injury. In 2023, he propelled the Heat to victory over the C's in the Eastern Conference Finals.

It wouldn't be surprising to see these storied rivals match up again in next year's postseason. If they do, you can count on Tatum's pre-parade taunt being used as bulletin board material.

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