Pat Riley: Hassan Whiteside should keep complaints about touches to himself
The Godfather always keeps his troops in line, and Hassan Whiteside is no exception to that rule.
After a double overtime loss to the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night, Whiteside openly complained about his lack of touches down the stretch, despite finishing with 32 points on a season-high 22 shot attempts.
“They say I’m the franchise player. I would think I should get more,” Whiteside said when asked if he was satisfied with the number of touches he gets late in games, per Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald. “But, I don’t know, man. I don’t think so to be honest. Coach is going to coach.”
Whiteside’s frustration may have stemmed from the backbreaking defeat and the fact that he only attempted three total shots in the two overtime periods. But his comments certainly didn’t fly with Heat president Pat Riley, who fired back at Whiteside on Wednesday.
“What Hassan should do is walk in with a clipboard and a pen and diagram some plays he likes. I’m sure his coach will be amenable.” Riley derisively quipped, also per Navarro.
“You have to keep those kinds of things, especially in the beginning, to yourself,” Riley added, via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Riley is famous (or perhaps notorious) for his “my way or the highway” style of running a team, even if it comes back to bite him every now and then. But his position here makes sense. Whiteside, who through it all is averaging a healthy 13.9 field goal attempts per game on the year, simply can’t expect a return to the days when teams would dump in the ball into the low post 30-35 times a night. It’s especially so in this era of downsizing, ball movement, and perimeter-oriented play. For Whiteside to become a true franchise player, perhaps he should stop grumbling and start focusing on the team as a whole and on cultivating his ability to lead by example.