MIAMI – Hassan Whiteside is done talking. At least with Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid.
“I’m not talking no more, no more talking,” Whiteside said after being asked of the latest altercation between the two. “No more talking. 2018, when he talks, no more.”
Whiteside said Embiid is “just another dude. He just talks more.”
Embiid, the Sixers rising All-Star center, accused the Heat center of a “dirty” play when Whiteside threw a forearm at Embiid’s back as the two got tangled running up the floor. After review, Embiid was assessed a personal foul while Whiteside was slapped with a technical.
“He tried to hit me in the back, which is kind of dirty because of the fact that I’ve had back problems,” Embiid said before issuing a warning.
“We’re going to see about that. I won’t forget about that.”
Whiteside saw it differently.
“I was falling forward, he tried to throw an elbow,” he said. “I put my hand up and my hand hit my face.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra thought the play warranted a double foul.
“They got tangled up, Embiid grabbed Hassan and Hassan is actually the one that yanked his arm and hit himself,” Spoelstra said. “He gave himself a flagrant foul.”
Embiid, who is having an All-NBA season, was outplayed by Whiteside for the first time in their head-to-head meetings this season. Whiteside led the Heat with 26 points and eight rebounds, making 9-of-12 shots. Embiid was just 5-of-18 from floor while scoring 17 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
In three head-to-head meetings Embiid is averaging 19.0 points and 8.7 rebounds, Whiteside is averaging 15.3 points and 9.3 rebounds. The teams split the four-game season series but the Heat won 2-of-3 in which both centers played.
“I love the Hassan Whiteside we saw last night out there competing, fierce, playing to an empty tank,” Spoelstra said. “Those were 28 full minutes. I don’t know if he could have played over 30 minutes at the intensity he was playing last night
“He has been putting in a lot of time. It’s about his approach, his behavior, his habits every single day. Eventually you get the results you’re looking for. I’m really encouraged with the way he’s been going in that direction. The competition level was high and fierce. I like that guy.
Charles Barkley, the TNT analyst, said on ‘Inside the NBA’ that Whiteside kicked Embiid’s “ass.”
Embiid believed he should not have even been assessed a personal foul on the play. It was his fourth and he came out of the game.
“I didn’t think I touched him,” Embiid said. “But then they called a technical foul on him because obviously he’s the one that made a dirty play.”
Embiid then got personal, as he has in the past.
“He hits really soft, so I didn’t feel anything,” Embiid said. “But just the action of him trying to do that I think is pretty messed up. I don’t care what we have outside of basketball but at the same time, you’ve got to respect the rules of basketball and play basketball and have fun doing it. But I’m not worried about it. We lost the game. Right now I’m worried about are we going to get better.”
The two centers got into a Twitter beef during the preseason when less than three minutes into the game in Kansas City, Whiteside fouled Embiid who then gestured that the Heat should remove Whiteside from the game.
Whiteside didn’t appreciate the video being posted on social media and responded by saying: “Funny how ya’ll don’t show me telling him the same and 1-7 shooting or the first 2 flops I mean blocks.”
Embiid shot back: “Dude they had to take your ass out or you would’ve fouled out in 5 min… And we’re talking about Preseason, not regular season…..”
And: “And keep caring about stats and not your team success…..”
Whiteside then took a shoot at Embiid’s injury history, Tweeting at Embiid “31 games in 3yrs. Hopefully I get to see you regular season.” Whiteside added the hashtag ‘SolarEclipse’ and ‘EmbiidEclipse.’
Embiid then insisted he thought he was using a burner account.
Whiteside is averaging 14.8 points and 11.8 rebounds this season while Embiid, who was voted in as a starter for the All-Star game, is averaging 23.4 points and 11.0 rebounds. Embiid has played 53 games, six more than Whiteside