The NBA’s out-of-nowhere big man sensation, Hassan Whiteside, showed us his not-so-bright side last night.
During his Miami Heat’s 100-90 loss to the Boston Celtics, Hassan surprised Celtics center Kelly Olynyk with this nasty elbow to the back of the head:
The incident gave people cause to remember why Whiteside, despite being super talented, flailed around in the minor leagues and abroad for so long: There were major concerns about his personality.
The Heat have him on a minimum salary through next season, so the 25-year-old will have to avoid too many more incidents like this one if he doesn’t want to give fuel to his skeptics and potentially damage his earning power.
Whiteside was also ejected last week, for a fight that he didn’t start — Phoenix Suns sophomore Alex Len was the responsibility party there — but that he did help to escalate.
“It was about the fourth or fifth time I dunked on him and I feel like he was really frustrated,” Whiteside said to the Palm Beach Post, about the Len scuffle. “I shouldn’t have came back and retaliated the way I did because it really hurt my team … but every day is a learning day for me. But that’s what it was – it was just because I just kept dunking on him.”
Teammate Dwyane Wade is not too impressed with the big man’s increasing extra-physical activity — dunks or not. “He’s had enough veteran advice,” Wade said after the loss to Boston. “There comes a time where you have to do it yourself. There’s only so many words people can continue to say to you… You’re part of an organization. We all have our moments, selfish moments. But you can’t continue to keep having them, because you’ve got to be reliable and you’ve got to be able to be counted on. And right now, if he continues to act that way then he’s not reliable.”
— John Wilmes