The 2014-15 NBA season was a dark, bleak experience for Heat fans. It began with the team losing LeBron to Cleveland and stretched into beloved Chris Bosh being sidelined for the season with blood clots in his lungs. Injuries, poor play, and downright crap luck were recurring themes for the four-consecutive Eastern Conference Champions. All seemed lost. The darkness was stark and endless. And then the Heat called up 25-year-old center Hassan Whiteside from the D-league squad to plug in a hole. And all Whiteside proceeded to do was become the Second Coming of Wilt Chamberlain. The seven-foot Whiteside has been obliterating opposing defenses since snatching up the starting-center gig with the Heat. His rebounding numbers reached double digits on a nightly basis, he has an unstoppable fadeaway, and he blocks shots so hard that they fly into outer space and leave dents on the moon. Whiteside has taken the NBA by storm as a colossal presence who has had everyone wondering where the hell he came from. NBA legend Bob Cousy declared that Whiteside is the one big man in 40 years to truly remind him of Bill Russell. And he has shown no signs that his phenomenal play is just an aberration. Whiteside is not only the real deal but he's the kind of center the Heat can build its franchise around. The Miami Heat's past season might have been bleak, but its future is quite bright, thanks to this dude and his shot-blocking, rebound-hoarding badassery.
Readers' Choice: Dwyane Wade