Udonis Haslem’s Marijuana Incident Bodes Poorly for Miami Heat’s Ability to Stay Focused


Udonis Haslem's Marijuana Incident Bodes Poorly for Miami Heat's Ability to Stay Focused South Beach is a great time. 

The night clubs play some of the country's best house music, bikinis are minuscule and the average temperature in the winter is in the high-60s.

It's one big party, and while that may help woo NBA stars to bring their talents there, it may make it a tough place to actually play.

Udonis Haslem's pot arrest on Sunday only proves to exemplify such.

As captain of the Miami Heat for the past two seasons, Haslem has somewhat of a responsibility to set an example for his teammates.

While he may not have been pushing weight like Bam Morris, being caught with over 20 grams of marijuana means this likely wasn't just a one-time deal, or even an occasional foray into the weed world.

Granted, Haslem got unlucky in that he was caught in the midst of a routine traffic stop, but this was neither an act of great judgement or a positive sign as to his focus on basketball.

And Haslem isn't a rookie, or even 25. He's 30. While Michael Beasley may have just been Michael Beasley, the second-overall pick couldn't shake his weed habit in South Beach, and he didn't develop on the court like he should have.

Obviously, Miami is far from the only NBA city where pot is available. The Golden State Warriors play in Oakland — the first major city in America to decriminalize marijuana. Night clubs aren't a Miami phenomenon either — even if Jersey Shore makes it seem like South Beach's really are the best out there.

The problem is that it takes a mature team to focus in a place like Miami. The 2006 Miami Heat championship team had outspoken veteran leaders like Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Gary Payton

Los Angeles, a city with similar pitfalls to Miami, has managed to continually field successful Lakers teams because of a great coach and a similarly veteran-laden roster.

The 2010 Heat's veteran presence is Haslem.

It goes without saying that the "New Big Three" of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh make the team the most talented in the NBA, but here's a question: Does it seem like those guys wanted to play together or hang out together? 

Bosh, Wade and James all seem to thoroughly be enjoying their celebrity — far more than they have in the past, and that generally coincides with partying. If James' Decision was indicative of anything, it was a lack of maturity and self awareness. In addition, the recent LeBron Vegas party expose showed us that the guy likes to go out hard.

Jeff Van Gundy may predict a record-shattering season for the Heat, and they may now be favorites in the Eastern Conference, but they'll have to find a way to stay focused on basketball.

When you're wealthy and 25 in a world with perfect weather, techno, and bikinis, that's a pretty tall order. It's even taller when your captain is leading you down the wrong path.

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