Bam Adebayo is undoubtedly one of the strongest pieces the Miami Heat is built around. After a troublesome off-season filled with failed attempts to capture the sweepstakes of Damian Lillard, the Heat are set to take on a highly competitive 2023-24 season. With Lillard off to the Bucks, the Heat will have to put in a lot of work to overcome this team. Miami beating the Bucks in round one of the playoffs last season was no fluke, however.
The South Beach franchise has been playing past expectations so far. With Jimmy Butler in his prime, the franchise makes good use of what they have right now. There is one thing that the franchise is known for, and it is the “Heat Culture”. Over the years, players like Dwyane Wade, and Udonis Haslem along with Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra have created an environment for players who want to experience basketball and team work at its finest.
With both veteran players out of the picture, Bam Adebayo is the only purebred left to carry forth the culture. He told the Miami Herald, “I mean, you can’t run from it. The thing about it is it’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be something that obviously you take for granted. But do I feel like I’m ready? Yes. At this point, I’ve done a lot of stuff in my career in my six years that a lot of dudes haven’t done in their whole career.”
Adebayo could be next in line to be the face of the franchise. Along with this, he has a set goal of winning the Defensive Player of the Year award as well.
Bam Adebayo accredited two Heat legends for paving the way for him
Bam Adebayo has spent six years with the Heat. He was drafted No.14 overall during the 2017 NBA Draft. He was blessed to have spent a brief period with Dwyane Wade by his side. Wade was a great mentor before he passed the torch over to the Udonis Haslem in 2019. Haslem announced that the 2022-23 season was his last leaving Adebayo responsible for the future.
Bam Adebayo on applying Heat culture to life:
“Once you teach somebody about the culture…anything in your life that you feel like is below your standard, you’re going to fix it because you’ve been in the culture. … We don’t like mediocre, mediocre isn’t good enough.” pic.twitter.com/nacM6tpavt
— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) September 30, 2023
He accredited both individuals for paving the way for his future role as the leader of the franchise. Bam said, “So being able to one, obviously, have D-Wade in my ear the first year and a half of my career and then having UD all the way through up to this point, it’s prepared me for that role. It’s prepared me for the standard, it’s prepared me for understanding what this looks like and how it’s supposed to be.”
Last season, he averaged 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. Bam Adebayo also earned his second All-Star selection. Over the last few seasons, the Heat has been one of the best defensive teams around. Of course, Adebayo has to do a lot with the team’s success. It would be an interesting sight to see Bam flourish into the Heat’s next franchise player.