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Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra on Hassan Whiteside: ‘We’re here to help Hassan’

Hassan Whiteside
Hassan Whiteside is expected to make his 50th start of the season Tuesday. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

After the Miami Heat fined center Hassan Whiteside for his postgame explicit-filled rant on Saturday, Whiteside circled back at practice and said he regretted making the comments to the media.

“I was just frustrated, man. I was frustrated that we lost. I really wanted to get that game,” Whiteside said, according to the Miami Herald.

“I could have handled it different,” he continued. “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’s rant came after the 24-year-old saw just 20 minutes of action in Saturday’s loss to Brooklyn, a game which Whiteside watched from the bench throughout the entire fourth period.

“A lot of teams don’t have a good center,” he said at the time. “They are going to use their strengths. It’s bull [expletive]. It’s really bull [expletive], man. There are a lot of teams that can use a center. [Expletive]. That’s one of them. That’s bull [expletive].”

When asked if it makes him question his future with the Heat, the Marshall product responded, “Maybe”.

The Heat fined Whiteside an undisclosed amount of cash, handling their business behind-the-scenes just as they wished Whiteside had done 24 hours earlier.

“We’ve already handled it within the team,” Spoelstra said. “Hassan has been fined. It’s poor timing, poor judgment on his part. It’s not the first time a player has gone through frustration right after a game. That’s why I’ve always said after the game guys should just take a shower, cool off, maybe do a little bit of media and then really have a better, coherent response to whatever happened during the course of the game the next day — all of us.

“But, we’re here to help Hassan. He’s going to be just fine. We’re going to help him continue to learn how to be a better professional, how to be a better leader in this locker room, how to be a better teammate and ultimately how to be a better winner. He’s been taking those steps. The team, we handled it before practice, it’s behind us now. The only thing that’s on all of our minds right now is we’ve got to get the next win, you know, to secure this thing and then move on from there and see if we can still move forward in the standings.”

The Heat, at 41-36 and seventh in the Eastern Conference, have the opportunity to clinch a Playoff berth on Tuesday against the Hawks. Hassan Whiteside is expected to start, although it’s unknown how many minutes he’ll receive.

Nobody is perfect,” Spoelstra continued. “It has nothing to do with the role. He knows exactly what’s expected of him as he continues to get back in shape. He knows what I want out of him and what his teammates want out of him. He’ll continue to work to get into better shape. We’ll get him back where he was before he got hurt about 3 1/2 weeks ago.”

For Erik Spoelstra, the Heat’s head coach for the past decade, handling business through the media is the last thing he wants with his likely Playoff-bound team.

“If guys want to throw a few eggs at my car after the game or [toilet paper] my house, that’s actually a better way to deal with it than speaking to all of you about the frustrations,” he said.

“I want guys that want to be out there. I want competitors that want to be in the game and have an opportunity to express themselves and help the team.”

The post Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra on Hassan Whiteside: ‘We’re here to help Hassan’ appeared first on Def Pen.

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Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra on Hassan Whiteside: ‘We’re here to help Hassan’


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