There’s been something of a Cold War going on in Miami this spring, and franchise big man Hassan Whiteside has been at the center of it. Earlier this month, Whiteside earned a fine for openly complaining about his lack of playing time in crunch time situations when opponents go small, a trend that continued against the Sixers in round one.
Whiteside kept on talking out of both sides of his mouth as the series progressed, simultaneously emphasizing the need to trust head coach Erik Spoelstra, while mischaracterizing what he perceived as a diminished role within the offense. Despite his relative lack of impact in that opening-round loss to Philly, Spoelstra stated publicly that he wants to see Whiteside reach his dreams with the Heat (phrasing that is certainly open to interpretation as to the degree of sarcasm involved).
Heat president Pat Riley, however, didn’t pull any punches as it pertained to the issues between Whiteside, coach Spo, and the Heat organization, and he made it clear that Whiteside is the one who’ll have to make some changes if their relationship is going to continue.