Hassan Whiteside’s game has matured, which has led to a breakout season in Miami.
So what is with the recent moments of immaturity? First there was the wrestling match with Alex Len that led to an ejection. That was followed by a cheap shot on Boston’s Kelly Olynyk which led to Whiteside getting suspended for a game. Whiteside called that the worst 12 hours of his life.
So what was going on? Whiteside told Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post the issues were personal.
“I just had a lot going on in my personal life. I don’t really want to speak on it. It won’t happen again.”
So what will happen in the future when you get angry with an opponent?
“I’ll just try to walk away. Retaliating is not the answer in this league. I just kinda hope my coaches and my teammates and the ref can keep me safe. Retaliating and trying to get back at people is not the answer.”
Sometimes fans shake their heads at this stuff, but the truth is situations in our personal life impact all of us on the job. We may try to leave it at home, but we also know we are just not the same on the job when something dramatic or traumatic is going on in our personal life.
Pro athletes are no different.
Hopefully, Whiteside learned a lesson about controlling your emotions, as hard as that can be. He called Olynyk to appologize, and the Celtics’ big man seemed to get through to him, saying don’t risk your career because you got up in the moment. Good advice, that.