I really enjoyed this Hassan Whiteside article that ran on ESPN.com last February when Hassan Whiteside burst onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere. Goldsberry’s piece is not only a profile into Whiteside’s rise, but also a really cool glimpse into the Miami Heat’s philosophy on player development. I also thought Spoelstra’s comment about how some players handle demotion differently than others was poignant (“With UD, going from [third-team] All-American to undrafted, then having to play in Europe … he was going to make this league no matter what. I mean, one way or another he was going to find his way into the league the next year”).
Spoelstra recalls telling Whiteside that NBA glory could be in his future in Miami if he put his faith into the process, if he was serious about working hard and learning.
“Man to man, eyeball to eyeball, after his first workout in November, my first words were, ‘If you’re really serious about it, we can be the spot for you. But, this might not be for you. Our culture, our program, our commitment to player development, and getting you in the best shape you’ve ever been in in your whole life … there’s going to be times when you want to throw stuff at us and quit. And this might not be for you. But, if you want to commit to this, we think this is the right place for you.’”
Erik Spoelstra's conversation with Hassan Whiteside following his November workout with the team: pic.twitter.com/Q8ySPH2ltN
— Zak Boisvert (@ZakBoisvert) February 9, 2015