Hassan Whiteside was denied again.
The announcement that the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony would replace the injured Kevin Love on the Eastern Conference All-Star team came during the Heat’s 117-109 victory over the Rockets Wednesday and following the game Whiteside took the news in stride.
“Congratulations to Melo,” he said.
Whiteside, who led the Heat with 23 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks, then lamented the fact that not one center is on the East team.
“I would have loved for a center to represent the East but that’s not the way the fans want to see it,” said the 7-footer. “I have really no control over that, I’m trying to make the playoffs.”
The Heat enter the break 25-32 and two games out of the final playoff spot.
“I think big men are always going to be a part of the game, that’s why I didn’t understand why they took the center spot out,” he said. “There’s plenty of great big men. Every night I got a talented big man to play against. There’s no easy night at the center position.”
Whiteside leads the league in rebounding with a 14.1 per game and is averaging 16.8 points and 2.1 blocks. He was not voted in by the coaches when the reserves were announced, and finished 11th in the fan vote, 14th in the player vote and eighth in the media vote – the votes that determined the starters – among Eastern Conference frontcourt players.
Anthony is sixth in the league with 23.2 points per game and is averaging 6.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He is set to play in the All-Star Game for the eighth consecutive year.
Whiteside, who signed a $98 million max contract last summer, has a tropical vacation on a Caribbean island planned for the break.
“It would be awesome to go to the All-Star,” Whiteside said before the announcement.
“Either way, I’m blessed beyond belief, man. Coming from where I came from to today I (was either) an All-Star or going on a resort vacation is unreal. I mean really, really. It’s unreal to me.”
The Heat are one of five teams in the East along with the Pistons, 76ers, Magic and Nets without an All-Star.
Miami was shut out of the All-Star Game for the first time since 2004. In all but three of those years the Heat had multiple All-Stars.