There’s still a lot of basketball that needs to be played, but it’s hard to imagine a player having a worse 2018 postseason than Hassan Whiteside. Miami’s center was as close to a non-factor as a player can be in the Heat’s five-game loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, and he made it clear on several occasions that he wasn’t happy with his role in the team’s offense or his playing time.
It wasn’t the first time Whiteside used the media to express a gripe, as he did that during the regular season, too. Whiteside seems really, really down on things in Miami right now, and one of his teammates hope that the big man uses this as a motivating tool.
Dion Waiters appeared on ESPN’s Get Up! on Friday morning and discussed, among other things, sitting on the sidelines as his team lost to his hometown squad. Waiters was also asked about Whiteside, and kind of challenged his center to get better.
“The best thing to do is just bite your tongue sometimes at the end of the day because either you’re gonna back it up with your play or then, once again, the internet, like I said, a gift and a curse,” Waiters said. “So I think he should learn from this, but at the end of the day, it should motivate him. You don’t cry about that. Me, personally, whatever happens, whatever went on, I’d have gotten right in the gym. I’ma prove myself.”
Waiters has a vested interest in watching Whiteside bounce back next year, as he’s signed through 2021 and the center is both signed through 2020 and pretty close to untradeable. For everyone involved, it might be for the best that Whiteside heeds Waiters’ advice and feels motivated to prove his naysayers wrong.