You probably haven’t heard of the Curse of Udonis Haslem, so you almost certainly don’t believe in it. And for good reason — I invented it. It’s only been shared with people who won’t have me committed.

But now it’s time to spread the theory to a mainstream audience.

The premise?

As long as Haslem played pro basketball, no Big Ten basketball team would ever win another national championship.

The reason?

Haslem is getting posterized by Michigan State’s Mateen Cleaves on the cover of Sports Illustrated the week that the Spartans beat Haslem’s Florida Gators for the 2000 national title. Or at least the Cleaves version of a posterization, which is just him driving for a layup.

Remember, Haslem is 43 years old — which means being on the cover of Sports Illustrated was once a really big deal in his lifetime. At the very least, it guaranteed months of exposure at every dentist’s office in the country.

And for that cover to be a guy beating you to the rim? Not exactly how a person would wish to be embedded in the national consciousness. Countless people likely saw that image right before inhaling laughing gas for a root canal.

The day the magazine hit newsstands, it’s quite possible Haslem vowed, “Michigan State will never win another championship as long as I’m playing basketball.”

But like a young Peter Parker or Miles Morales, Haslem didn’t even know the depths of his own power. His smiting of the Spartans overtook the entire Big Ten, which has failed the produce another men’s basketball national champion to this day.

See? An airproof, scientifically sound theory.

The power of Udonis

I am a firm believer in Haslem’s superpowers, because there is no other way a person older than me could still play professional basketball.

Once you hit 40, golf becomes a workout. Golf!

Playing basketball against your fellow out-of-shape peers is a chore. And that’s just in a half-court setting.

Full-court? Against guys half your age? Who happen to be the best athletes in the world?

Preposterous. Just typing that sentence left me winded.

And though he wasn’t exactly a regular — Haslem checked in to just 25 games total during his final 4 seasons — he was still in the game at 43 years of age. Put another way: Jimmy Carter was still president when this man was born, yet Haslem still occasionally logged NBA minutes.

If you don’t understand why that’s an achievement, just wait ’til you get there, and it will all make sense. But maybe take a couple Tylenol when you do.

But after 20 seasons in the NBA, all with the Miami Heat, Haslem is finally walking (shuffling?) away from the game. And his departure creates a possibility that the curse will lift.

Curses? Really?

Curses have always been a good way to explain away institutional ineptitude.

The Curse of the Bambino was never even concocted until after the Boston Red Sox lost the 1986 World Series to the Mets under the most unfortunate of circumstances. But it was a useful prop to explain away decades of failure.

You start with one very dumb move — selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees — and voila, a curse is born. It ended up taking the Red Sox 86 years to overcome a single bad transaction.

A curse also gave cover to decades of failure for the Chicago Cubs.

Local tavern owner William Sianis was not allowed to bring his billy goat into Wrigley Field for Game 4 of the 1945 World Series, and declared the Cubs would never again win a World Series for disrespecting his goat.

This never made much sense to me, because who the hell lets a billy goat into a ballpark in the first place? They’re liable to eat anything.

But because the Cubs went from World Series regulars in the first half of the 20th century to never again in the second half, the notion of a curse gained steam. It took the Cubs 71 years to bring another World Series back to Wrigley.

Of course, the actions of the people running the teams were the real culprits. But because just enough dumb luck was sprinkled in — Bill Buckner, Bucky Dent, black cats, Bartman — the thought of a curse made as much sense as anything else.

The same logic — or lack thereof — applies to Big Ten basketball.

According to KenPom, the Big Ten rated as the top overall conference in college basketball 9 different years since Michigan State’s 2000 title. And 7 B1G teams have played in the national championship game. Yet all that depth has not produced a champion.

Many have offered rational explanations for the drought.

The B1G remains one of the last natural refuges for the traditional big man. The roster makeup that works for a conference title is not as conducive to winning a national title.

Some blame Big Ten officiating, which permits more physical contact than an NCAA Tournament whistle.

A relative dearth of 5-star recruits signing with Big Ten teams compared to peer conferences also makes for a logical explanation.

But none of those things is as fun as a curse. And the arc of Haslem’s career just happens to provide excellent cover for a curse origin story.

Now that he has finally retired, the curse is surely lifted. Big Ten teams are again free to cut down the nets on the first Monday night of April.

Unless, of course, the Curse of Udonis Haslem is so powerful that it carries over into his future coaching career.