Hassan Whiteside has been riding the bench more than he’d like. Now, his pockets are little lighter than he’d like.
Acccording to the AP’s Tim Reynolds, the Miami Heat have decided to fine Whiteside an undisclosed amount for what they say are comments detrimental to the team.
After the Miami Heat lost to the Brooklyn Nets in OT on Saturday, 110-109, Whiteside went off on the coaching staff for sitting him against smaller lineups. That outburst sparked headlines, particularly because Whiteside suggested his talents could be used better elsewhere.
Via the Sun-Sentinel:
“It’s bull—. It’s really bull—, man,” Whiteside said. “There’s a lot of teams that could use a center. S—. That’s bull—.”
Miami is a team that has always been at the forefront of not only analytics, but trying alternate ways to combat foes in the Eastern Conference. Head coach Erik Spoelstra famously started his time with the team in the video department, and he’s gone so far outside the box during his run that he’s roped in advice from guys like Chip Kelly, then with the Oregon Ducks.
It’s not completely surprising that Spoelstra has experimented with sitting Whiteside in small-ball lineups, especially with the emergence of Bam Adebayo (although Adebayo didn’t play late on Saturday, either).
That Whiteside was fined isn’t a surprise, either. Publicly chastising your coaching staff is bad enough. Suggesting you might be more appreciated elsewhere is implicitly asking for a fine, either from the league or the team.
Can they mend fences enough before Whiteside’s player option in 2019-20? That might depend on whether or not Miami thinks Whiteside is worth keeping around. As Kurt wrote earlier about this subject, Whiteside is a good player but spectacular enough to allow for this kind of behavior, much less deviation from a strategy that Spoelstra and the coaching staff thinks wins them games.