There’s no denying that Heat center Hassan Whiteside has greatly matured on and off the court this season.
His play and demeanor have improved so much that the team’s two most veteran players have been singing his praises.
“He’s putting his team first,” said Miami’s Udonis Haslem.
Dwyane Wade backed up Haslem’s sentiment and discussed Whiteside’s willingness to work hard and take responsibility.
“Hassan has been working on himself,” stated Wade. “He’s got people around that help him. He’s just in a good place. Having the birth of his son [last month] was another thing that helped him, understanding responsibilities. He’s been great. Been great for us this year.”
In a time where certain Heat players have been visibly and vocally unhappy with their minutes, Whiteside has been neither. Despite differences in his playing time from game to game, the 29-year-old hasn’t said a word about it.
“I think I’m just in a better place than I was last year,” said Whiteside earlier this week. “Going through all the injuries and stuff, I was real frustrated with myself too, not being able to be there with my teammates, not being able to contribute like I wanted to. There was a lot of frustration with myself also, with the injuries. I’m just happy we’re winning. All the other stuff will come.”
That much is clear. His growth and maturity have helped the Heat stand strong despite many ups and downs throughout the first half of the regular season.
“I’m just happy we’re winning,” Whiteside went on to say. “All the other stuff will come.”