In the latest example of Heat lifer Ron Rothstein being the coolest, the Miami Heat’s halftime and postgame TV analyst showed he is not afraid to call out star Heat players despite being employed by the franchise.
Note that he was prefacing the criticism with praise during a radio interview last weekend, per the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, but Rothstein referred to Hassan Whiteside’s effort as unacceptable at times because he “coasts a lot.”
While praising Whiteside overall, Rothstein told Heat Weekly host Tommy Tighe on 790 The Ticket on Saturday: “I don’t see maximum effort. He coasts a lot. That’s unacceptable.”
Rothstein added that in the first quarter sometimes, opponents go the basket “unmolested [and Whiteside] is just standing there.”
This is pretty surprising to hear from a Heat employee. Yet again, Ron is in his seventies and is likely giving less shits by the hour.
The honesty is refreshing and Rothstein is not wrong, which is troubling considering Whiteside is the Heat’s best player, talent wise.
While it’s tough to get a proper gauge on effort, it certainly appears Whiteside has his foot off the gas for lengthy stints during games, especially defensively. Heck, his coach even benched him for it earlier in the season. When Hassan is engaged, there’s no better rim protector on the planet. He’s still in the Top 10 this season defending shots within six feet.
— Josh Baumgard (@joshbaumgard) December 28, 2016
With his shot-blocking ability, athleticism, and towering frame, he has all the ingredients of an elite defender but the “when he’s engaged” qualifier is starting to become attached to the talented big man.
Hassan has to realize the difference between good (what he is now) and great is often dictated by consistency which often comes from effort and attention to detail. For him to be considered among the great bigs today, he needs to play with a purpose regardless of the score and who’s lining up around him. With his limited offensive game, defense will always be his calling.
It can’t be easy giving his all when the likes of Rodney McGruder and Derrick Williams are starting beside him, knowing he’s probably going to lose, but he’s a professional getting superstar money now. It’s about time his effort matches his paycheck.