Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat
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Bam Adebayo: Making History in Heat's Record Books

Published March 26, 2024 at 9:55 PM

In just his seventh NBA season, Bam Adebayo is making waves in the Miami Heat's record book. With his 186th regular-season double-double achieved in Sunday's victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Adebayo surpassed Hassan Whiteside to claim the third spot for the most career double-doubles in Heat history. Only Rony Seikaly (221) and Alonzo Mourning (205) have more regular-season double-doubles in a Heat uniform than Adebayo. At 26 years old and expected to remain with the Heat for years to come, Adebayo is poised to eventually surpass both Seikaly and Mourning to become the franchise leader in career double-doubles.

''I mean, I'm still mad at Spo because he didn't really let me play my first two years,» Adebayo joked ahead of Tuesday night's matchup against the Golden State Warriors at Kaseya Center when told about his latest accomplishment. «But it just shows the trust that, obviously, the coaches have in me to go out there and produce, but also believing in myself that I can be top five in everything for the franchise.''

Since assuming the role of the Heat's starting center in the 2019-20 season, Adebayo ranks among the top 10 NBA players in regular-season double-doubles, trailing only stars like Nikola Jokic, Domantas Sabonis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and others. This trajectory positions Adebayo as a potential Heat legend if he remains with the team throughout his career.

At his current pace, he could challenge Dwyane Wade for the franchise's top spot in various statistical categories, including two-point field goals made, assists, steals, and points. Additionally, Adebayo is closing in on surpassing Udonis Haslem as the Heat's all-time leading rebounder within the next five seasons.

''He's going to keep on passing all these franchise records,» Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. «I think that is something to note that he is still a very young player, but his experience is so vast now. I mean, he's got more playoff experience than almost anybody in the league at his age. That really matters to us.''

Since entering the league through the 2017 NBA Draft, Adebayo has started 64 playoff games, placing him among the few players in their 20s with extensive playoff experience. Only Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jokic, and Antetokounmpo have started more playoff games since the 2017-18 season. Moreover, Adebayo ranks second only to P.J. Tucker in playoff wins since the 2019-20 season, with both Adebayo and his Heat teammate Jimmy Butler boasting 37 playoff victories during this period.

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''You get a bunch of playoff experience with real competitors, you learn how to really impact winning, what really moves the needle with winning and Bam really cares about it,» Spoelstra continued. «But the fact that he's been able to climb the charts in terms of the rebounding and the double-doubles and still be able to generate so many assists for us. That's incredibly unique for a player of his size.''

Adebayo has participated in three Eastern Conference finals and two NBA Finals, yet he has yet to secure an NBA championship. While numerous Heat records seem within his reach, clinching a title remains his top priority.

''For me, it feels weird if we don't make the playoffs because I don't know what to do with that summer,» said Adebayo, who is eligible to sign an extension with the Heat this upcoming offseason. «But it's just the experience of it. There's nothing like it. The regular season and the playoffs are totally different. It's possession by possession. When you have to think like that, everything matters. Turnovers, steals, missed shots, you start thinking about everything. So for me at a young age, it's just great to have that opportunity.''

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March 26   |   4 answers
Bam Adebayo: Making History in Heat's Record Books

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