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Hassan Whiteside: Problematic Passion

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Only Hassan Whiteside can fix Hassan Whiteside.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Now you see why the journey has been so long for Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside.

You saw the short fuse that has turned away many teams from investing their future with him. When he tackled Alex Len to the floor during the Heat-Suns game, the fans and media called it stupid but loved that he played with an attitude.

What he did last night was just outright stupid, and now the Heat have to pay for it, as he will likely be suspended for at least one game without him.

Is the Hassan Whiteside era over? No. Riley has searched years for his next Alonzo Mourning and failed with the likes of Eddy Curry and Greg Oden. Whiteside is unquestionably the most dominant center since Mourning, and just like Zo, is a hot head at the beginning stages of his career. For Mourning, it was a fight with Larry Johnson during the Knicks playoff  series that made him realize his importance on the team. Johnson wasn't as important to the New York Knicks as Zo was to the Heat, and as a result, Miami lost that series without him. The Heat are currently fighting for their playoff lives with all hands needed.

Dwyane Wade responded to the ejection:

"He has had enough veteran advice. There comes a time where you have to do it yourself," Wade said. "There are only so many words that people can continue to say to you. You just have to do it, if not for you, then you have to do it for the other guys in here that you see out there sacrificing and out there playing hurt.

"You are a part of a team and organization. We all have our moments, selfish moments, but you can't continue to keep having them. You have to be reliable and you have to be counted on. Right now if he continues to act that way then he is not reliable. He is a good player, he is a young kid, he has to quickly learn from his mistakes and hopefully he does that."

There was a time not too long ago when he was thankful that Miami signed him. Happy that Riley took the chance on him. He spoke of sacrifice for his teammates while raising his 2k ratings. That hunger that he had is now a full stomach. He seems to be in the mindset that the Heat need him more than he needs the Heat, and even if that may be true, being part of a team means not holding yourself above the team.

Udonis Haslem was seen going into the locker room, probably to talk some sense into Whiteside for his sudden departure. One unfortunate part about all this is that with two ejections happening within one week, the entire league now see's Whiteside's temper problem so coaches can just send over their third-string center to irritate Whiteside. He is handing every team an advantage by being such a disadvantage himself. If you thought the Celtics loss was bad, keep in mind the Brooklyn Nets (currently a half game behind the Heat) are coming into town, and Brook Lopez will be guarded by....Michael Beasley. That match-up itself should tell you what the Heat's chances are for a win.

Beasley was asked this last night, and his answer led me to another observation.

Beasley has had three tries with the Miami Heat. Like Whiteside, he has played overseas and has been cut and waived by NBA teams but it took seven whole years for Beasley to become who he is now. The Heat don't have the same window time with Whiteside. With the window of winning limited to the next handful of years. Miami must decide if Whiteside is worth a long term contract by Summer 2016. For next season, he must decide his own value. If he continues in his ways, all he is would be damaged goods.

Whiteside is a passionate player. He plays with an edge and a chip on his shoulder when he isn't lowering his shoulders into people. The same type of passion is now problematic and it's a problem that only he can fix.