Length was never the issue for Hassan Whiteside.
As the Miami Heat success story bounced around the basketball world for several years after the end of his collegiate playing days in 2010, what plagued his long-term NBA prospects was mostly attitude. He’d yet to put on the mass that currently has him at 265 pounds, and surely wasn’t quite as skilled as he is today, either.
But Whiteside kept getting chances in the league despite his contentious demeanor and raw basketball profile regardless. Why? The photo above makes it pretty, pretty clear.
Whiteside isn’t all arms, of course. He supplements that mind-blowing 7-foot-7 wingspan and 9-foot-5 standing reach with great hands, soft touch and overall coordination that’s rare among true behemoths. The 7-footer put those attributes on full display once entrenched in Erik Spoelstra’s rotation last season, averaging 13.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in just 27.5 minutes per game on scorching 61.3 percent shooting from mid-January onward.
The hype surrounding Whiteside’s rise, basically, was justified. What will most decide whether he sustains it in 2015-2106 and going forward is what nearly prohibited it altogether in the first place: emotional stability, or lack thereof. Even if he’s unable to build on last season’s breakout, though, it’s safe to say Whiteside has found a semi-permanent place in the league at the very least.
Length like this, after all, isn’t exactly commonplace.
(Via Hassan Whiteside)