Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside was ejected from the team’s 119-101 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night after elbowing Boban Marjanovic in the face during the 4th quarter, a move that might have cost the Heat the game.
The Heat sent Whiteside home shortly after he was ejected, making him unavailable to the media despite him saying he would have talked. Heat teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh did talk to the media, and they talked in regards to Whiteside:
“You never turn your back on your teammate, but at the same time you’re not always in a position where you can grab somebody’s hand and walk them through every step of the way,” Wade said. “Sometimes you have to live with your decisions that you make. I didn’t see what happened, but obviously it was enough for him to get ejected and whatever decision he makes with that, he has to live with that. Whatever consequences come with it, he has to deal with it. The biggest thing from him is you hope he just learns from it. You know, we said that last year.
Many people have questioned Whiteside’s maturity already when he was back with the Kings, and to be honest, we quite frankly haven’t seen an improvement in Whiteside’s maturity. Some even have the narrative to say that 19-year-old Justise Winslow is already mature than him.
“You can always help a guy or try to give some advice,” Chris Bosh said. “People have given me advice over my career. But eventually I have to take that last step forward and really do that. I think the next step for him is learning about reputation. Unfortunately, he’s taken a step back. Whether it’s right or wrong or he made contact or not, I really don’t know, but people see that and they come to expect certain things. You have to build your reputation back up. He’s willing. He wants to win. We just have to encourage him and keep telling him what it takes to win.
All you had to do was look at Pat Riley‘s face after Whiteside was ejected. Riley is of course the Heat’s president, who saw a reason to bring him in when no one else never did. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra also began to trust him once he started to prove himself.
“That’s something we’ll deal with with Hassan,” Spoelstra said. “We don’t condone that kind of play. We’ve been through this with him before. It’s a disappointing play. That’s not a basketball play.”
Whiteside being tagged with the flagrant two means that he will automatically be suspended one game, and the Heat won’t protest that. The Heat next play nine days from now on the road against the Atlanta Hawks. Based on how their last game went against Atlanta, it might be wise if the Heat choose to sit Whiteside that game.
Still, this hopefully will turn into a wake up call for Whiteside. He embarrassed himself and his teammates on national television, and I am surprised the backlash isn’t worse right now.
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