NBA D-League veteran Hassan Whiteside’s breakout season reached another level on Sunday when he scored 14 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked a franchise-record 12 shots — all in just 25 minutes — to lead the Miami Heat to a victory over the Bulls.
And his performance in a postgame interview also had fans buzzing. “I’m just trying to really get my NBA 2K rating up,” he joked in his interview on ABC.
For the national audience, it served as an introduction to the 25-year-old center who’s come out of nowhere to emerge as a difference-maker in Miami (though his true coming-out party came earlier this month in Los Angeles).
“In high school, it was, ‘Where’d he come from?’” Whiteside, who was called up from the Iowa Energy in late November, told reporters afterward. “Five years ago, if anybody followed my Marshall career, I did one year there. I didn’t even start until later on in the season, and by the end of the season, I was projected as a lottery pick. It’s been like that all my life. It’s always, ‘Where’d he come from?’”
The answer is, in part, the NBA D-League, as he’s played 65 games over four seasons with four different teams in the NBA’s minor league — and was equally dominant.
|Hassan Whiteside’s Per-36-Minute Statistics|
|Miami Heat (18 games)||16.6||69.2||3.3||11.2||14.5||1.3||4.4|
|NBA D-League (65 games)||19.0||59.0||5.2||9.3||14.5||1.0||6.2|
Here’s what Twitter was saying about Whiteside on Sunday:
— NBA 2K 2K15 (@NBA2K) January 25, 2015
— Hassan Whiteside (@youngwhiteside) January 25, 2015
Shaq. Dikembe. Hakeem. Mark Eaton. Shawn Bradley. Hassan Whiteside. Meet the only players in the last 50 years with a 14p-13r-12b game.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) January 25, 2015
Per Elias, Whiteside's 24 mins & 37 secs today are: - fewest mins played to record 10+pts/10+rbs/10+blk - fewest mins w/ 12+p/12+r/12+b
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) January 25, 2015
— NBA D-League (@nbadleague) January 26, 2015
Hassan Whiteside's video game rating: pic.twitter.com/WJuBYuRf0Q
— SportsNation (@SportsNation) January 25, 2015