Heat assistant coach loses football bet to UM fan Udonis Haslem.
Heat assistant coach loses bet to Haslem and dons some extra “U” bling
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.
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.
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.