Hassan Whiteside Suspended for Elbowing Boban Marjanovic: Details, Comments

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2016

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 7: Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Miami Heat handles the ball during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers on February 7, 2016 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside has been suspended one game for elbowing San Antonio Spurs center Boban Marjanovic, the NBA announced on Feb. 11.  

Bleacher Report's Howard Beck passed along the news. Whiteside, 26, was ejected early in the fourth quarter for purposefully elbowing Marjanovic in the face while the two tussled for rebounding position.

Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel reported that Whiteside will serve the suspension against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

The Heat sent Whiteside home early from their road trip following the incident.

"That's something we'll deal with with Hassan," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said on Feb. 10, per Michael Wallace of ESPN.com. "We don't condone that kind of play. We've been through this with him before. But it's a disappointing play. That's not a basketball play."

Winderman noted that Whiteside checked on Marjanovic after the play:

Whiteside, who has been one of the NBA's best stories over the last two seasons, has a checkered history of on-court incidents. He was suspended one game last March for hitting the Boston Celtics' Kelly Olynyk, which came roughly a week after he got into a fight with the Phoenix Suns' Alex Len. Rumors of immaturity plagued his first run in the NBA, which saw him flame out after spending parts of two seasons with the Sacramento Kings.

Heat Guard Dwyane Wade had plenty to say about the situation, per Winderman:

You never turn your back on your teammates. But, at the same time, you're not always in a position where you can grab somebody's hand and walk 'em through every step of the way. Sometimes you have to live your decisions that you make. He has to live with that. Whatever consequences come with it, he has to deal with it.

Whiteside's play on the court has him in line for a massive contract this summer. He is averaging 12.2 points, 11.0 rebounds and an NBA-best 3.9 blocks per game while holding opponents to 47.9 percent shooting at the rim, per NBA.com. Miami's defense has interestingly been a little worse with him on the floor this season, per Basketball-Reference.com, but that's in part because of the starting five's leaky perimeter. Whiteside also has a frustrating propensity for chasing blocks rather than making the smart basketball play.

Either way, the Heat would be lost without his production. The two-year contract he signed in Miami last season ranks among the best in basketball, to the point that he's well worth the occasional headache.

If the Heat are looking for a way to spin the situation positively, Whiteside's reputation as a head case may wind up deflating his value on the open market. Teams are increasingly wary of volatile locker room presences, and it's clear at this point Whiteside has developed a shaky reputation. 

 

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