Center Hassan Whiteside was fined an undisclosed amount Sunday for "comments detrimental to the team" - a response to his remarks expressing frustration with his role.
He went on an expletive-laden tirade after Miami's 110-109 overtime loss Saturday to the Brooklyn Nets, when the Heat missed a chance to clinch a playoff spot, saying he should play more and might be better elsewhere. A Pistons loss to the Knicks on Saturday also could have punched the Heat's playoff ticket, but Detroit defeated NY 115-109. In the two years before 2016-17 season, he was averaging 32.6 minutes per game. We shouldn't. Why are we matching up? We got one of the best centers in the league.
"A lot of teams don't have a good center", Whiteside said. They're going to use their strength. It's bull (expletive). It's really bull (expletive), man. There's a lot of teams that could use a center. They went to the smaller lineup and it always comes to that. [Expletive]. That's one of them.
Asked if he tried to discuss it with one of the coaches during the game, Whiteside said: "I don't know if it's because I'm on a minutes restriction".
Last season, the Heat employed Willie Reed as their primary center coming off the bench, and while he was a serviceable backup to Whiteside, he was never a serious threat to him in terms of playing time and overall production levels.
Playing for a spot better than sixth seems very unlikely with the regular-season winding down, as Miami is 4.5 games behind No. 5 IN and five games behind No. 4 Philadelphia. The minutes have been like that all year.
"Man, it's annoying, you know". It's really frustrating. It's tough. "It's insane. I don't understand it", he said. The 28-year-old is the highest-paid player on the Heat at roughly $24 million this season and has approximately $52 million remaining on his four-year, $98 million contract, which includes a player option for $27.1 million in 2019-20.
Asked if this has made him question his future with the Heat, Whiteside said: "I don't know".