Brooklyn Nets' Deron Williams
We all have days when we whine. NBA players are no exception.
But when an NBA superstar is whining, more often than not, they put their team in a position to lose.
With much of this season still undecided, there are a handful of NBA superstars who need to stop whining now in order to maximize their team's opportunity for success.
From whining about a coach's decision, an off-court criticism, on-court call or anything else in between, it all needs to stop entirely moving forward.
These superstars are too important to their respective teams otherwise.
The Miami Heat, for example, can still repeat as NBA champions if their collective attitude will allow it.
The Boston Celtics can still make noise in the Eastern Conference playoffs, and the Brooklyn Nets have the potential to do the same.
Even the Los Angeles Lakers, as bad as things are right now, have time left to make a run themselves.
If any of those goals are going to be accomplished, though, the superstars who help lead each team must eliminate the whining they've done so far this season.
Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade
The Miami Heat lost 104-97 to the Utah Jazz on January 14.
In the fourth quarter, Dwyane Wade was kept on the bench as Miami furiously attempted to erase a 19-point deficit.
He finished his night with 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting in 29 minutes.
Following the game, Wade apparently voiced his displeasure by sub-tweeting coach Erik Spoelstra for the benching.
The high road... Isn't always high...
— Way of WADE (@DwyaneWade) January 15, 2013
Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald characterized Wade's Twitter post as a "cryptic message that seemed like passive-aggressive commentary."
While I agree with Goodman, I'd also classify Wade's tweet more simply as whining.
In their quest to go back-to-back as NBA champions, there is no time for whining in Miami right now.
As a leader and preeminent superstar in this league, Wade needs to set that example—just like he traditionally has for the majority of his NBA career.
Los Angeles Lakers' Dwight Howard
No offense to Robert Horry and his treasure chest filled with championship rings, but NBA superstars cannot afford to be whining about anything he says these days.
Especially if you're coming off the season Dwight Howard just did, while currently mired in all that's wrong with the Los Angeles Lakers.
In response to a criticism from Horry, suggesting that the Lakers' center smiles too much and should take off his headband, Howard responded with the following according to Janis Carr of the Orange County Register.
Howard, 27, said Horry needs to stop criticizing him because "I think it's stupid. I never judged him on how he played. Just because I smile and have fun doesn't mean I don't take the game seriously. I came here to win championships. I came here to dominate and I'm going to do it with a smile on my face. I'm going to play the way I want to play."
When considering that Howard's not actually on a pace to "win championships" at the moment, he would cause everyone around him less headaches by pulling the no-comment card here.
If he can help the Lakers turn things around, Howard can say anything he wants. But for now, it's best he stays focused on the task at hand.
It would also help if he stopped whining to officials about calls that don't go his way, like he did on Sunday, to prevent himself from being ejected moving forward.
Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo
The Boston Celtics have lost three straight games through Sunday.
They are 20-20 overall and clinging to the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. They cannot afford to lose Rajon Rondo for any significant amount of time moving forward.
After pegging an NBA referee with basketball last season, Rondo is on what appears to be a zero-tolerance policy with NBA officials.
He cannot whine to referees at all for the rest of the season. For any reason.
In an article by Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com, coach Doc Rivers suggested that Rondo's reputation had a lot to do with his last suspension on January 7.
"You know the old saying: You're not given that reputation, you earn one," Rivers said. "And I'm sure that had a lot to do with it as well."
Rondo's January 7th suspension marked the fourth time he'd been suspended in less than one year.
Fair or not, if he so much as looks at an official with a whining-ish face he could be in trouble. The whining needs to stop now as a result of all that.
Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol
At this stage in his NBA career, Pau Gasol is a superstar in reputation only.
Regardless of what Father Time has taken from his game, though, Gasol is still one of Kobe Bryant's two most important teammates.
This season, specifically, he is critical to the Lakers' chances of improving their woeful start.
In hopes of turning things around, and boosting an extremely ineffective bench, Mike D'Antoni tried to move Pau Gasol into the second unit.
Stress the word "tried", according to Kevin Ding from the Orange County Register.
Pau back in Lakers' starting lineup. Why? D'Antoni: "He made it pretty clear he wanted to start. That's fine. I'm good with that."— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) January 20, 2013
Even if his coach initially thought that coming off the bench would improve the team, Gasol insisted on being a starter.
He made those intentions "pretty clear" to D'Antoni and then started on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors.
Gasol finished the game with 25 points, but the Lakers still lost 108-103. Meanwhile, the Raptors outscored the Lakers' reserves 37-22.
Brooklyn Nets' Deron Williams
Of all superstars included on this list, Deron Williams has been whining the longest this season.
According to sources cited in a report from Howard Beck of the New York Times, following Avery Johnson's firing last month, Williams was said to have “totally quit" on his former head coach.
Since P.J. Carlesimo has taken over the coaching duties for the Brooklyn Nets, it appears that Williams has at least stopped quitting.
But, admittedly, he's still whining.
This, from Williams, according to Roderick Boone of Newsday following the Nets win over the Atlanta Hawks last week.
I let the refs get to me a little bit in that third quarter, kind of take me out of my game. I thought I got fouled on a couple of plays and started doing too much whining. So that was my fault because it took my aggressiveness away and I kind of wanted to get that back at the end of the game.
The Nets have now won eight of their last 10 games through Sunday. Williams is performing at the level we've come to expect he should recently too, which is great.
But unlike any other player in the league right now, Williams must stop whining entirely. He's too good of a player to be wasting his time and energy on that sort of thing moving forward.