Heat as­sis­tant coach loses football bet to UM fan Udo­nis Haslem.

Heat as­sis­tant coach loses bet to Haslem and dons some ex­tra “U” bling

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - SPORTS - By Ira Win­der­man Staff writer iwin­der­man@ sun­sen­tinel.com. Fol­low him at twit­ter.com/ira­heat­beat

MI­AMI — The bill came due Tues­day for Heat as­sis­tant coach and for­mer Notre Dame guard Chris Quinn — a walk of shame be­fore prac­tice at Amer­i­canAir­lines Arena, fully adorned in a Univer­sity of Mi­ami turnover chain.

As if Satur­day’s 41-8 Hur­ri­canes vic­tory over the Fight­ing Ir­ish at Hard Rock Sta­dium wasn’t hard enough to stom­ach at the Heat’s team view­ing party in a ho­tel just north of Detroit.

Power for­ward and Heat cap­tain Udo­nis Haslem, a Hur­ri­canes football par­ti­san dat­ing to his for­ma­tive days in Mi­ami, pro­vided the bling, in­sist­ing that Quinn also throw up a “U” with his hands in front of team­mates on the prac­tice court.

“I wore it with pride,” Quinn said amid the Heat’s prepa­ra­tions for to­day’s game against the vis­it­ing Wash­ing­ton Wizards. “You know, I’m ob­vi­ously very loyal to the Univer­sity of Notre Dame, but I also live in Mi­ami now, so I can be happy for their suc­cess.”

And here’s the rub, Quinn had it planned even worse for Haslem had Notre Dame won.

“We all watched the game to­gether on the last road trip, so he was al­ready tak­ing a lot of flak,” coach Erik Spoel­stra said. “This is three days straight he’s been tak­ing a beat­ing. Quinny, he can take a punch. He can laugh at him­self no doubt.

“It was high stakes ei­ther way. U.D., if Notre Dame won, was go­ing to have to dress up like a lep­rechaun and do this [tak­ing a fight­ing stance]. It’s pretty bad ei­ther way.” Of that, Quinn was adamant. “Ab­so­lutely,” he said. “I would have def­i­nitely made Udo­nis dress up as a lep­rechaun and do the Fight­ing Ir­ish stance, as well.”

With the other play­ers on the Heat ros­ter lack­ing an al­le­giance, most at the team view­ing party sided with the home­town team.

“It was a long night,” Quinn said. “They were on me from the be­gin­ning to the end, and they had the right to do. We’ll live to fight to an­other day, though.”

Asked if he could en­vi­sion the need to ever again wear the turnover chain, the fac­sim­ile of the one the Hur­ri­canes present to a player after a take­away, Quinn smiled.

“You never know,” he said. “Ob­vi­ously, it’s al­ways next year, so we’ll see what hap­pens.”

The teams are next sched­uled to play in 2024 and 2025.

Hav­ing al­ready thrown up a “U” while along­side his team­mates, Quinn de­clined to of­fer up an en­core to the me­dia fol­low­ing prac­tice.

“You might be ask­ing for a lit­tle much,” he said with a smile.

Simplicity sought

For­ward James John­son ac­knowl­edged after Tues­day’s prac­tice that get­ting his turnovers down has to be a pri­or­ity.

“I’m such a giver out there, so it’s go­ing to be a lit­tle hard to get them down,” he said. “I’m just go­ing to keep try­ing to make bor­ing plays and try­ing to stay within my men­tal sta­bil­ity, where I don’t make mis­takes.”

Spoel­stra said he ap­pre­ci­ates John­son’s self­less­ness.

“He wants ev­ery­body else to be in that com­fort zone,” he said. “As the sea­son goes on he will get more into his com­fort zone and we’ll con­tinue to get a bet­ter ver­sion on him.” . . .

Point guard Der­rick Wal­ton Jr. had a strong de­but Tues­day for the Heat’s de­vel­op­men­tal-league af­fil­i­ate, clos­ing with 20 points, nine as­sists and four re­bounds for the G League Sioux Falls Sky­force in a 119-118 road loss to the Austin Spurs. Wal­ton had spent the pre­vi­ous five games with the Heat.

MI­AMI HEAT/COUR­TESY

Heat for­ward and co-cap­tain Udo­nis Haslem, left, shows his sup­port for the Mi­ami Hur­ri­canes football team next to Heat as­sis­tant coach, and for­mer Ir­ish player, Chris Quinn. The two had a bet on Satur­day’s game be­tween UM and Notre Dame.

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