Udonis Haslem Explains The No-Foul, All-Contact Heat Hunger Games | Sideline Sources

Udonis Haslem reminisces the good old days of Miami Heat culture with their Hunger Games—a no-holds-barred scrimmage five versus five that allowed the Heat players to let their competitive sides out.

Udonis Haslem And The Hunger Games

The retired three-time NBA champion talks about how the Heat practiced their defense during their version of the Hunger Games. Similar to the book’s concept, it’s a competition between players on who’s better with little-to-no rules. Haslem explains the idea on his podcast, The OGs Show.

The scrimmage lets the players let loose and initiate contact due to fewer foul calls. If there are any, the coach is the one to call it—no one else.

“Hunger games is five on five, mano a mano, very little fouls if any. That’s up to the coaches, you ain’t calling your own fouls. The coach is gonna be calling the fouls and they’re probably gonna let a lot of calls go by.”

Udonis Haslem

Furthermore, these scrimmages are not meant for scoring. Instead, it flips the game and considers stops as the main point. If you stop the rival team from scoring during their possession, you get one point.

“You only win with defense, you win with stops. You don’t win with getting a bucket. So a lot of you motherf—ers that think scoring is winning, not when you come to Hunger Games.”

Udonis Haslem

The punishment for losing is a lot of running. Despite that, it seems to build up the connection, chemistry, and camaraderie between Heat players.

The Miami Heat's Udonis Haslem tries to block the shot of the Indiana Pacers' George Hill during the first half in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (Michael Laughlin/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Michael Laughlin/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Additionally, these Hunger Games force you to stay on your assignment instead of double-teaming a specific player. This makes it even more difficult if your rival is a scorer and you can’t rely on a teammate to come by.

This highlights issues with players who have trouble defending their assignments, which would be a big problem for the team.

“After you lose, obviously you gotta f—ing run. In between those lines, ain’t no double teams, ain’t no schemes. Guard your f—ing yard. You will get exposed. And if you get exposed, it’s frowned upon.”

Udonis Haslem

Fans Think The Concept Sounds Interesting

Inverting a basketball game does sound interesting. After all, defending is half of the game, yet offensive players get more highlights due to how flashy they are.

However, these Hunger Games would highlight the players who can defend and take the ball away from you.

Would you watch an NBA game based on the Heat’s Hunger Games?

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