Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside says NBA doesn’t give him ‘love’

 

This block by Hassan Whiteside on Charlotte's Marvin Williams in February was the only one of Whiteside's 269 blocks to make the NBA's top 50.
This block by Miami’s Hassan Whiteside on Charlotte’s Marvin Williams in February was the only one of Whiteside’s 269 blocks to make the NBA’s top 50.

 

Heat center Hassan Whiteside is not happy he is not more prominently featured in the NBA’s countdown of the top 50 blocks of the 2015-16 season.

Whiteside appeared once on the video, his block on Charlotte’s Marvin Williams in early February ranking No. 7. But Whiteside didn’t just block the shot, he caught it with his right hand and then started the fastbreak with an outlet pass to Goran Dragic.

 

In that 98-95 Heat victory, Whiteside recorded a triple double off the bench with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks.

Whiteside led the NBA with 3.68 blocks per game. He 269 blocks were 92 more than runner-up DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers. When a Twitter follower wondered why just one of Whiteside’s blocks made the video, the Heat center responded:

Heat owner Mickey Arison even chimed in about block, tweeting at Whiteside a quote from Alonzo Mourning about what it means to keep a blocked shot in play. Zo is the Heat’s all-time leader with 1,625 blocked shots in 11 seasons. But his 2.7 blocks per game is second to Whiteside’s 3.2 per game.

Whiteside, though, got the respect from the people that matter, Arison and the Heat when they signed him to a 4-year $98 million contract this summer.

[While Dwyane Wade reacts to his cousin’s death, Donald Trump attempts to politicize tragedy]

[Miami Heat to win 38 games, finish 10th in East according to ESPN]

[How do Heat’s all-time starting 5 stack up against greatest from Celtics, Lakers, others?]

 

While Dwyane Wade reacts to his cousin’s death, Donald Trump attempts to politicize tragedy

 

One day after Dwyane Wade was part of a panel discussion on gun violence in Chicago, his cousin was shot and killed in the South Side of the city.
One day after Dwyane Wade was part of a panel discussion on gun violence in Chicago, his cousin was shot and killed in the South Side of the city.

While Dwyane Wade and his mother were speaking out about the death of Nykea Aldridge, Wade’s first cousin who was shot and killed on the South Side of Chicago on Friday, Republican presidential candidate and part-time Palm Beach resident Donald Trump attempted to politicize the tragedy.

Wade, who recently left the Miami Heat to sign with his hometown Chicago Bulls, posted a tweet Friday denouncing gun violence.

On Saturday, Wade posted about Chicago needing more help to combat the violence.

Wade’s mother, Jolinda Wade, a pastor at New Creation church, spoke on behalf of the family Friday outside the hospital where Aldridge was pronounced dead.

“Just sat up on a panel yesterday. … talking about the violence that’s going on within our city of Chicago, never knowing that the next day we would be the ones that would be actually living and experiencing it,” Jolinda Wade said as she held her sister.

“We’re still going to try and help these people to transform their minds and give them a different direction, so this thing won’t keep happening. We’re still going to help empower people like the one who senselessly shot my niece in the head.”

Dwyane and his mother were part of a series of panel discussions on gun violence hosted Thursday by The Undefeated on ESPN and held at the South Side YMCA in Chicago. Dwyane was not in Chicago for the discussions, appearing via satellite.

Following the discussion and less than 24 hours before his cousin was killed, Wade posted: “Every 16 mins someone in Chicago is killed by a firearm.”

Meanwhile, Trump took to Twitter to attempt to exploit the tragedy connecting the shooting to a reason why African-Americans will vote for him for president. Trump spelled Wade’s first name wrong in his initial tweet.

It is not the first time Trump has tried to exploit a tragedy. In the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando that left 50 dead, including the gunman, Trump took to Twitter to congratulate himself:

Nykea Aldridge, 32, had recently relocated to an area on the city’s South Side, her family said.

According to police, Aldridge, 32, was pushing a baby stroller near a school where she intended to register her children when two males walked up and fired shots at a third man. Aldridge, who wasn’t the intended target, was struck in the head and arm. Police said the baby wasn’t hurt and that a relative has taken custody of the child.

The school is about a mile and a half southwest of the University of Chicago.

Police are questioning two men who they say are persons of interest, according to reports.

The Bulls later issued a statement, saying the organization was “deeply saddened” by the news of Aldridge’s death.

Wade signed a two-year deal worth approximately $47 million last month after spending the first 13 years of his NBA career with the Heat.

 

 

Miami Heat to win 38 games, finish 10th in East according to ESPN

 

ESPN says the Heat will 38 games, miss playoffs.
Ouch! ESPN says the Heat will 38 games, miss playoffs.

The Miami Heat are projected two win 38 games and just miss the playoffs, according to ESPN’s real plus-minus.

Actually, the real number is 38.3, which puts the Heat No. 10 in the East, two spots being Indiana (38.9), which would grab the final playoff spot at No. 8. Atlanta is ninth with a projected 38.6 wins.

The top spots in the East go to Cleveland (52.1), Boston (49.8), Toronto 48.8) and Detroit (47.5).

The West looks like this: Golden State (66.8), San Antonio (54.5), Utah (47.5) and the Clippers (46.3).

The Heat are coming off a 48-34 season in which it lost Game 7 at Toronto in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Heat, though, lost starters Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson and Luol Deng in free agency and still are unsure about the status of Chris Bosh, who has missed the second half of the last two seasons because of blood clots.

Miami was 37-45 two years ago.

This is how the RPM works according to ESPN: The RPM estimates a player’s on-court impact on team performance, measured in net point differential per 100 offensive and defensive possessions. RPM takes into account teammates, opponents and additional factors. When used along with playing time projections, it’s proved to be a very accurate predictive tool overall.

[How do Heat’s all-time starting 5 stack up against greatest from Celtics, Lakers, others?]

[Ranking the USA Olympic basketball teams since 1992]

[Heat guard Briante Weber not feeling pressure of full roster]

 

 

 

 

 

How do Heat’s all-time starting 5 stack up against greatest from Celtics, Lakers, others?

 

 

Wade, Zo, LeBron are joined by Hardaway, Bosh on the Heat's all-time starting five.
Wade, Zo, LeBron are joined by Hardaway, Bosh on the Heat’s all-time starting five.

For the last week we brought you the top 5 players at each position in Heat history. The lists span all 28 years of the Heat with three players from this year’s team making the top five at his position, several players from the early (pre-Pat Riley) years and many more from title winners and the playoff teams of the late 1990s.

Here are the top players form each position, or our starting five:

PG – Tim Hardaway

SG – Dwyane Wade

SF – LeBron James

PF – Chris Bosh

C  – Alonzo Mourning

Which got me thinking, how would this team stack up against the top 5 from the nine other franchises that have won at least two championships. Here are the all-time starting fives for the Bulls, Celtics, Knicks, Lakers, Pistons, Rockets, 76ers, Spurs, and Warriors.

Where do the Heat rank?

Bulls

PG – Derrick Rose

SG – Michael Jordan

SF – Scottie Pippen

PF – Bob Love

C  – Artis Gilmore

Celtics

PG – Bob Cousy

SG – John Havlicek

SF – Larry Bird

PF – Kevin McHale

C  – Bill Russell

Knicks

PG – Walt Frazier

SG – Earl Monroe

SF – Carmelo Anthony

PF – Willis Reed

C  – Patrick Ewing

Lakers

PG – Magic Johnson

SG – Kobe Bryant

SF – Elgin Baylor

PF – James Worthy

C  – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Pistons

PG – Isiah Thomas

SG – Joe Dumars

SF – Grant Hill

PF – Dave DeBusschere

C  – Bob Lanier

Rockets

PG – Calvin Murphy

SG – James Harden

SF – Rudy Tomjanovich

PF – Moses Malone

C  – Hakeem Olajuwon

76ers

PG – Allen Iverson

SG – Hal Greer

SF – Julius Erving

PF – Charles Barkley

C  – Wilt Chamberlain

Spurs

PG – Tony Parker

SG – Manu Ginobili

SF – George Gervin

PF – Tim Duncan

C  – David Robinson

Warriors

PG – Stephen Curry

SG – Chris Mullin

SF – Rick Barry

PF – Nate Thurmond

C  – Wilt Chamberlain

tumblr_ltv58hNoHq1r4z6lbo1_r1_400Here is how I rank the all-time starting fives from the NBA’s most iconic franchises

1. Celtics

2. Lakers

3. 76ers

4. Spurs

5. Heat

6. Warriors

7. Bulls

8. Knicks

9. Pistons

10. Rockets

Any disagreements/comments, let me know.

[Ranking the top 5 centers in Heat history]

[Ranking the top 5 power forwards in Heat history]

[Ranking the top 5 small forwards in Heat history]

[Ranking the top 5 shooting guards in Heat history]

[Ranking the top 5 point guards in Heat history]

 

Erik Spoelstra insists expectations surrounding Miami Heat ‘will not change’

Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat looks on during the game against the Toronto Raptors at American Airlines Arena on May 7, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat looks on during the game against the Toronto Raptors at American Airlines Arena on May 7, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Erik Spoelstra has spoken.

The Heat head coach discussed the 2016-17 season for the first time since Dwyane Wade’s departure in videos published by the organization on Tuesday afternoon. Continue reading “Erik Spoelstra insists expectations surrounding Miami Heat ‘will not change’”

Miami Heat schedule notes: Five nationally-televised games, 15 back-to-backs, more

 

101215 spt heat spurs 14

With help from the Miami Heat media relations staff, some notes on this year’s schedule which was released Thursday:

* The Heat play just five nationally-televised games, down from 11 last year. Two of those are against Dwyane Wade and the Bulls, Nov. 10 at home on TNT and Jan. 27 in Chicago on ESPN. Others include Dec. 14 at home vs. Indiana on ESPN, Feb. 27 at Dallas on TNT, Mar. 3 at Orlando on ESPN.

* The Heat will play 15 sets of back-to-back games, two fewer than last season. Seven of those are both on the road, five have Miami playing on the road followed by a home game and three have the Heat at home and then traveling for a game the next night. Just once does the Heat play four games in five nights; Dec. 6 vs. the Knicks, Dec. 7 at Atlanta, Dec. 9 at Cleveland, Dec. 10 at Chicago.

* Miami plays four Eastern Conference opponents three times; Brooklyn, Chicago, Indiana and New York with two home games against Indiana and NY and two road games against Brooklyn and Chicago. Miami plays two home games and two away against all other teams in the East and one home and one away against all Western Conference teams.

* The longest homestand is six games from Dec. 12-22 with games against Washington, Indiana, the Clippers, Boston, Orlando and the Lakers. The longest road trip is six games from Jan. 3-13 with games at Phoenix, Sacramento, the Lakers, the Clippers, Golden State and Milwaukee.

* 37 games will be played on weekends including 17 in Miami, four on Friday, eight on Saturday and five on Sunday.

* The Heat’s busiest months are December and March with 16 games each. December is split evenly home and away, March includes 10 home games.

* The Heat open the season on the road (Oct. 26 at Orlando) for the ninth time in franchise history and the first time in five years. The last time Miami opened on the road was Dec. 25, 2011. at Dallas in the lockout shortened season.

* The Heat will not play on Christmas Day for just second time in the last 13 years and the first time since 2008.

* The Heat will play on New Year’s Day (at home vs. Detroit) for the second straight year and the seventh time in franchise history. Miami is 6-0 on New Year’s Day.

* The schedule includes just one game that starts before 6 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Jan. 8 at the Clippers.

* Partial ticket plans will go on sale Aug. 19 and single game tickets can be purchased starting Sept. 16. Tickets can be purchased by going to the team’s website, heat.com. For more information on tickets got to heat.com, send an e-mail to season@heat.com or call 786-777-4667.

[Miami Heat owner Micky Arison excited to watch this team, including Chris Bosh]

[NBA schedule 2016-17: 10 must-see Miami Heat games]

[The 10 most important games for the Miami Heat]

 

Miami Heat owner Micky Arison excited to watch this team, including Chris Bosh

 

Heat owner Micky Arison, shown with coach Erik Spoelstra, and President Pat Riley, mentions Chris Bosh as being a part of the team in a letter to fans. (Gary Coronado/The Palm Beach Post)
Heat owner Micky Arison (left) mentions Chris Bosh as being a part of the team in a letter to fans. (Gary Coronado/The Palm Beach Post)

Miami Heat owner Micky Arison penned an open letter to fans late Thursday, addressing the “challenging summer” which saw Miami lose icon Dwyane Wade and talking about his excitement when it comes to the Heat’s new look 2016-17 team.

And Arison mentions forward Chris Bosh as being a part of that team, hinting the veteran who has missed the second half of the last two seasons because of blood clots will be returning.

After thanking fans for their support, Arison confirmed something that has been a slam dunk for years: The Heat someday will retire Wade’s No. 3 jersey:

  “..it will be a joyous homecoming when we someday hang his #3 jersey from the rafters of AmericanAirlines Arena.”

[Miami Heat to welcome back Dwyane Wade Nov. 10]

[The 10 most important games for the Miami Heat]

[NBA schedule 2016-17: Miami Heat host LeBron James, Cavaliers in March, April]

Arison then talked about the highs and the lows over the past 21 years, quoting president Pat Riley who said one of the only things you can count on in life that is permanent is change.

“We need to understand and embrace change as part of sports; in fact, part of life.”

Arison concluded by saying his expects the team from Riley, coach Erik Spoelstra and “veterans Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Goran Dragic and Josh McRoberts” to the “young core of Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson” to the newcomers to continue the team’s traditions.

“I’m excited about this team and I’m confident you will enjoy watching us play this season.”

Read Arison’s letter here.

 

 

 

NBA schedule 2016-17: Miami Heat host LeBron James, Cavaliers in March, April

 

LeBron James brought Cleveland its first title in 52 years when he led the Cavaliers over the Warriors in the NBA Finals. (Getty Images)
LeBron James brought Cleveland its first title in 52 years when he led the Cavaliers over the Warriors in the NBA Finals. (Getty Images)

LeBron James has played plenty of games in Miami as a defending world champion, but none in a uniform other than the Heat’s.

That will change this season when James and the Cleveland Cavaliers came to AmericanAirlines Arena to face the Heat on March 4 and April 10.

Cleveland defeated the Golden State Warriors in seven game in June to capture its first title and the city’s first championship in 52 years. James was named the Finals MVP, just as he was in 2012, 2013 when he lead the Heat to back-to-back titles.

James left Cleveland for Miami in 2010 and returned to the Cavaliers after leading Miami to four consecutive Finals appearances. His first season in Cleveland ended with the Cavaliers losing in the Finals to the Warriors before avenging that loss in June.

The Heat will travel to Cleveland on Dec. 9 and March 6.

The Warriors, who won an NBA record 73 games last season and advanced to their second consecutive Finals appearance, will make their only South Florida appearance Jan. 23. Miami plays at Golden State on Jan. 10 as part of a six-game road trip.

The Warriors figure once again to be the NBA most popular road team after adding the top free agent of 2016, Kevin Durant, to a team that already included league scoring leader Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

 

 

Could the Heat be in position to add veteran Rudy Gay?

Rudy Gay #8 of the Sacramento Kings during the first half at American Airlines Center on March 3, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Rudy Gay #8 of the Sacramento Kings during the first half at American Airlines Center on March 3, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Heat are in the process of overhauling their roster, looking for young and athletic players, and it appears that a veteran NBA player wants in.

According to the Miami Herald, Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay has expressed interest in joining the Miami Heat via trade. Gay and the Kings have had a turbulent relationship during his three years with the team, and there is plenty of speculation that the Kings have been looking to trade Gay.

The 29-year-old is a career 45 percent shooter, including a respectable 34 percent from beyond the arc, while averaging 18.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Last season, Gay averaged 17.2 points per contest and rebounded above his career average, grabbing 6.5 boards per game.

While Gay would certainly add a talented scorer and established veteran to the roster, swinging a trade for the forward will be tough for Miami. The Heat made several additions this offseason, and any player signed this month cannot be traded until December, leaving the Heat with only a few assets to work with.

Beyond that, Gay is set to make $13.3 million this season and also holds a $14.2 million player option for next year. That means that if the Heat were to trade for Gay, they would need to send a package of considerable salaries to Sacramento.

According to CBS Sports, possible trade packages that the Heat could craft include a one-for-one trade of Chris Bosh, Hassan Whiteside or Goran Dragic, and the Heat likely aren’t inclined to trade any of those three. The Heat could also offer a package of Josh McRoberts, Udonis Haslem and Josh Richardson, but that is a price tag that seems too steep for the Heat to consider.

Miami’s best bet may be to allow Gay to play out his contract with the Kings and pursue the forward in free agency.

Read more at the Miami Herald and CBS Sports.

Report: Russell Westbrook agrees to contract extension with Oklahoma City

Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball during the first half against the Golden State Warriors in game six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 28, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball during the first half against the Golden State Warriors in game six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 28, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Russell Westbrook is staying in Oklahoma City … for now.

The 27-year-old Westbrook has agreed to a three-year, $85 million-plus maximum contract renegotiation, according to The Vertical. The new contract keeps Westbrook under contract for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, and he will hold a player option for the 2018-19 season.

This news ends any hope the Heat had at luring Westbrook to Miami as a free agent next summer. It also takes the pressure off Oklahoma City to trade him this year because Westbrook is now under contract for the next two seasons. Continue reading “Report: Russell Westbrook agrees to contract extension with Oklahoma City”