Heat’s Hassan Whiteside backs down: ‘I just trust coach’s decision’

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Heat center Hassan Whiteside sat the final 15 minutes of Miami’s loss to the Nets on Saturday, riding the bench as Brooklyn went small.

Whiteside:

“Man, it’s annoying,” said Whiteside, who was pulled for good with 3:55 to play in the third quarter. “Why we matching up? We got one of the best centers in the league. Why we matching up? A lot of teams don’t have a good center. They’re going to use their strength.

“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—.”

Asked if it has him questioning his future with the team, he said. “I don’t know, maybe.”

The Heat fined and supported him. Now, Whiteside doesn’t sound quite as upset.

Whiteside, via Shandel Richardson of the SunSentinel:

“I was just frustrated, man,” Whiteside said. “I was frustrated that we lost. I really wanted to get that game … I could have handled it different. But I got so caught up in wanting to get that win. I get real competitive. I really want to be out there. But I just trust coach’s decision.”

Whiteside fell from the NBA to the lowest levels of professional basketball then worked his way back. He became the first player to go from a minimum salary one year to a max salary the next. He became the Heat’s franchise player.

Those accomplishments were fueled by Whiteside’s belief in himself. So, it’s understandable that attitude has persisted.

That makes it sometimes tricky for the Heat to handle him, especially as they’ve become more balanced and less reliant on him. But Whiteside has generally eventually stayed grounded enough, and this is another example of that.