Real Talk with the OG, Udonis Haslem
Udonis “OG” Haslem talks tattoos and locker room moments.
Tell me about your most recent tattoo.
I would consider myself a tattoo veteran as of late. In typical Dwyane Wade fashion, he does his research and digs deep. He helped me find a talented young tattoo artist out of California named Cliff. As I took my spiritual journey, a lot of meditation and spent some time in the mountains, I took one day to go to LA to get the tattoo. Cliff’s penmanship is ridiculous! The tattoo I got is probably the only picture that I have of me, my mom, and my father all together. I was very young, and it was a very sentimental picture. I wanted it done right and I had to put a lot of trust in the person who did it. Cliff was the right guy for the job.
What did it mean for you having Dwyane there while you got the tattoo? Also, thoughts on his new photography hobby?
It meant a lot. We talked a lot and reflected on the past, the present and the future. It was nice having him there. I didn’t know that he took up photography in his spare time. You need to understand, when Dwyane picks up a hobby he dives in headfirst. He’s got a professional camera. He’s gotten to the point where he understands that the candid shots are the best. He did his thing when I got my tattoo! He got great shots AND he was cheap, so I got no complaints.
Do you have plans to get any more tattoos soon?
We’ve got a lot to do to add to it. I’ve got a whole image of a lot of family and friends who I’ve lost in the past. It’s going to all come together.
Aside from your new one, favorite tattoo to date?
Aw man…probably the one of mom. I also have all my kids. I think everything I’ve got has its own meaning. Depending on what point in my life I was at, what I was feeling and what I was going through, I think all my tattoos tell that story.
Do you know how many tattoos you have, or have you lost count?
I just have one big tattoo at this point.
Throwing in a random for you here. Is there a locker room talk that you’ll never forget?
Yep. When we were getting ready to go to Dallas. We were losing that series and we tied it up. We took the lead, and as we were going back to Dallas to hopefully close it out, Coach Riley said that he’s only taking one shirt, one suit, and one tie. I think everybody knows that story by now. He looked at the team and said, “We’re going to be champions on June 20th.” You want to know what’s crazy? We won on the 20th! I definitely had more than one suit, one shirt, and one tie. Just in case. But I mean...it worked. I’ll never forget that. I think at that point, for me being a young basketball player, it was a very important lesson. That’s when I really understood the power of the mental aspect of things. Pat got us to believe it. He spoke it into existence.