Kelly Olynyk might have been caught completely off-guard by Hassan Whiteside’s senseless cheap shot Monday, but Dwyane Wade, sadly, was not.
Wade, the Miami Heat’s longest-serving player and face of the franchise, has seen this type of thing before from his young teammate — less than a week ago, in fact, when Whiteside was ejected for tackling Phoenix Suns center Alex Len. It sounds like Wade has had enough, too.
“He’s had enough veteran advice,” Wade told reporters, according to 104.3 The Ticket’s Chris Wittyngham. “There comes a time where you have to do it yourself. There’s only so many words people can continue to say to you. You gotta do it. Not for you, you gotta do it for the other guys in here that you see sacrificing, that you see out there playing hurt and all the things that are going on.
“You’re part of a team. You’re part of an organization. We all have our moments, selfish moments. But you can’t continue to keep having them, because you gotta be reliable and you gotta be able to be counted on. And right now, if he continues to act that way, then he’s not reliable.”
Those words should be a gut check for Whiteside, 25, who is in the midst of a breakout season but has also shown glimpses of why he fell into the second round of the 2010 NBA draft out of Marshall. Despite freaky length and springy hops, the young 7-footer has displayed moments of immaturity even his teammates are at a loss to explain.
If the Heat, who lost to the Celtics on Monday, are to win the battle for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, they will need Whiteside to provide a reliable inside defensive presence in place of the injured Chris Bosh. The last few games have shed some doubt as to whether that’s a realistic expectation.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images