After the Miami Heat’s season ended with a first-round exit to the Philadelphia 76ers, Pat Riley said that Erik Spoelstra and Hassan Whiteside needed an intervention to address their “disconnect.” Whiteside hadn’t minced words about his unhappiness surrounding his lack of playing time.
As the 2018-19 season draws closer, Whiteside said that he and Spoelstra and a four-hour meeting to clear the air. He also said that he’s ready to start the season healthy.
NEW: Heat’s Whiteside shares insights from ‘good meeting’ with Spoelstra, African safarihttps://t.co/6GGcfnXH6b— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) August 1, 2018
The following is an excerpt from the Miami Herald article referenced above.
“We had a great talk. Just trust on both sides, I think that’s the biggest thing – trusting each other,” Whiteside said. “It was about a four hour meeting. It was a lot about life. It was like two hours basketball; two hours life. It was a good meeting.”
Whiteside, who will play Saturday in the third annual NBA Africa game in Pretoria, South Africa, said that he’s only felt like himself in the last three months. He said that he’s found his explosiveness back and is ready to “show Miami a healthy Hassan Whiteside.”
Of course, one question that pops up is how Spoelstra can manage minutes for Whiteside with Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk. Adebayo is one of the Heat’s bright young players and appears to be someone Miami would like to build around. And the Heat signed Olynyk to a four-year contract last year, and his offensive game is better suited to today’s NBA than that of Whiteside.
At least, it’s good to know that Whiteside and Spoelstra have a better relationship now. We’ll see how the two handle the season soon enough.