At this time last year not many people knew who Hassan Whiteside was. But now after bursting onto the NBA scene, the 25-year-old center has shown that he could be a part of Miami’s future.
However, if he wants to be a player that Miami can build around for the future he has to avoid incidents like the one that happened Monday night. Whiteside delivered a blindside cheap shot on Boston forward Kelly Olynyk during a loss that got him ejected with one game suspension from the NBA.
This incident was the second time Whiteside was ejected during the month of March. He was ejected for fighting against the Phoenix Suns on March 2 after he got into it with Phoenix center Alex Len.
Not having Whiteside on the court is detrimental to Miami, as they are currently fighting for a playoff spot. Miami is currently half a game out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Whiteside’s antics have also become frustrating to his Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade.
“He’s had enough veteran advice,” Wade said to reporters on Monday. “There comes a time where you have to do it yourself. There are only so many words people can continue to say to you. We all have our selfish moments but you can’t continue to keep having them because you have to be reliable.”
Whiteside cannot afford to have too many of these moments because he has finally earned a starting role after a long career to reach the NBA. After being drafted in 2010 by the Sacramento Kings, Whiteside bounced around from team to team in the D-League as well as overseas before given an opportunity from the Miami Heat.
Whiteside has been taking advantage of his time with the Heat, as he has all the tools you would want as an NBA center.
In 35 games this season, Whiteside is averaging 10.9 points per game with 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. Whiteside has proven that he can be a force when it comes to rebounding, an area where Miami desperately needs improvement. Even with Whiteside, Miami is the worst rebounding team in the league, averaging just 38.6 rebounds per game.
Only time will tell if Whiteside gets the message to work on his composure during games, but right now he is saying all of the right things and even reached out to apologize to Olynyk.