Miami Heat and Hassan Whiteside both have doubters, who never thought they could overcome setbacks and win. Whiteside posted a photo on Facebook on how important having brothers, who believe in him, are to Hassan.
The time to start building a team around Whiteside, by adding other weapons of NBA destruction in Miami, is now. Hassan is a selling point to attract other stars, who appreciate having a force in the paint to guard their backs. Heck, the Heat's talented multi-media department could create a Miami Heat video game featuring Whiteside with his teammates, knowing Hassan's passion for games. Seen as his number one signing priority, Pat Riley would do anything, including sitting next to Whiteside in front of the monitor (via Photoshop).
Hassan's good friend DJ Khaled wants Whiteside to keep playing in area code 305, so they can chill out together for years to come. Khaled knows how to throw a party, and the Heat could use those talents to recruit players for the team and listen to the hit "Kiss The Ring" after next season's hopeful triumph.
Hassan respects authority, and which other NBA executive can play the part of Al Pacino better than Pat Riley?
Rumor has it that the Lakers will make a strong push for Whiteside this summer. With all due respect, the Heat are closer to kissing the ring than the Lakers, who cannot be trusted after D'Angelo Russell secretly taped and leaked a confidential talk he had with teammate Nick Young. Nor would his family and friends be able to drive to watch him play in person on a Western Conference team, which has the added challenge of defeating the Warriors, Spurs, Thunder in the playoffs, just to reach the NBA Finals.
Whiteside made an Instagram post dedicated to the Muhammad Ali, who was stripped of his heavyweight title and jailed, because his principles meant more than the money to him.
Pat Riley was there at Ali's funeral and believes in the same principles Ali fought his entire life for. As the controversial Al Sharpton said, "For the heavyweight champion of the world, who had achieved the highest level of athletic celebrity, to put all of that on the line – the money, the ability to get endorsements – to sacrifice all of that for a cause, gave a whole sense of legitimacy to the movement and the causes with young people that nothing else could have done. Even those who were assassinated, certainly lost their lives, but they didn't voluntarily do that. He knew he was going to jail and did it anyway. That's another level of leadership and sacrifice."
Every team will be throwing money at Whiteside next month, but his legacy began with the Heat. David Fizdale was replaced by Dan Craig this summer and the Heat may have a new mindset about who they want on the team. Even though Erik Spoelstra makes the final decisions, Fizdale, as his most-trusted assistant, had an important say on game management and personnel.
Craig has a connection with former NBA Development League players, such as Whiteside, because he coached them. Look for subtle shifts in player evaluation and pace from the Heat's coaching changes in shaping the squad's style of play. Will Whiteside stick around to reap the benefits?