Hassan Whiteside On Ejection: It Was Because I Kept Dunking On Him


We already knew Hassan Whiteside was pretty angsty, but we saw a whole other *side* of him when he lost his temper and retaliated against Phoenix Suns center Alex Len. Now the Miami Heat will wait on possible punishment from the NBA.

“You’re not just gonna come into Miami and bully us” – Hassan Whiteside

Whiteside was ejected from the game with 4:26 left in the third quarter of Miami’s 115-98 victory over the Phoenix Suns when he tackled Len under the basket. The fight came after Whiteside dunked on Len, and Len started to tussle with him on the way down.

Whiteside and Len had each been trying to establish their dominance in the paint since the tip. Eventually it reached a break point for the young centers.

"“It was about the fourth or fifth time I dunked on him and I feel like he was really frustrated,” Whiteside said. “I shouldn’t have came back an retaliated the way I did because it really hurt my team… but every day is a learning day for me. But that’s what it was– it was just because I just kept dunking on him.”…When asked if he felt like a fight was coming most of the night, Whiteside said he did not know why Len would have any reason to go at him.“I never played against the guy,” he said. “I guess the guy felt like he could bully me or something, I don’t know. You’re not just gonna come into Miami and bully us or think it’s gonna be easy. We’re a really good team with a lot of vets. That’s what it was.”"

(Via Jason Lieser, Palm Beach Post)

The NBA will likely make a decision in the coming days. Whiteside has already admitted his fault in the fight.

"“I just retaliated. I shouldn’t have retaliated. I should’ve walked away, but when you’re in the heat of the moment– I just came down after a dunk and I guess he felt like my arm hit him in the face or whatever it was and he kinda threw me to the side. We’re a family and everybody came over and backed me up. It was just melee basically… That’s when I retaliated, and I was wrong for that.”"

Whiteside had 17 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in 26 minutes before he was ejected. Chris Andersen and Udonis Haslem finished the game at center. With or without Whiteside, the Heat play the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday.

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