South Florida sports fans have not had a lot to be excited about this year. LeBron left, the Heat are racked with injuries, the Marlins are an enigma, the Panthers are a roller coaster of crazy, and the Dolphins are forever mediocre.
But all is not lost. Because hope has arrived in the form of a 25-year-old seven-footer named Hassan Whiteside. And just as he's been handing out hope to Heat fans, he's also been obliterating the competition. In a word, the man is awesome. And we're going all in on believing he's for real.
Sure, hope can be a sketchy thing sometimes. Morgan Freeman said in Shawshank Redemption that "hope is a dangerous thing."
Yes, hope is a dangerous thing -- FOR EVERYONE ELSE!
Whiteside has been with the Heat only a quarter of the season, and already he's piled up some great moments. Here are the eight best moments he's given us so far:
8. That time he flexed against the Bucs
Sure, it was a loss, and sure the Heat commentators weren't too happy with it (because of class and whatever, we guess?). But seeing Hassan flexing after he swallows up an opponent and then flushes down a monster dunk reminds us of another certain Hall of Fame center who once roamed the Earth in a Heat uniform...
7. That time he ruined the Celtics' Super Bowl tailgate party
Super Bowl Sunday wasn't all superterrific good times for Boston sports fans. Hours before the Seahawks coughed up the big game and handed the Patriots the championship, Hassan Whiteside came into Boston and dipped his massive balls into their chowder. Whiteside finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and three blocks while he tossed Celtics players around like Godzilla does subway cars.
6. That time he made Joakim Noah disappear
The NBA Sunday Showcase in late January was supposed to be a day where the rest of the country got to see how good Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and the Chicago Bulls are and why they're on a lot of analysts' lists of teams that will be in the finals this year. Then Hassan Whiteside showed up and wrecked that train with one swat of his massiveness. Whiteside came out and threw down his first career triple double, ending the game with 14 points, 13 rebounds, 13 blocks, and leaving the entire city of Chicago a smoldering heap.
5. That time he grabbed all of the rebounds against the Mavericks
For the longest time, the biggest issue the Heat have had has been rebounding the ball. Then along comes Whiteside, who went and grabbed 24 of them against Dallas in January. Twenty-four. That's an entire team's worth.
4. That time he called out Doc Rivers for not even giving him a tryout
Hard call outs are the best. Especially against anyone ever associated with the Celtics. Also, LOLOLOL, really, Doc??
3. That time he wrecked Rockets ass
Against one of the best teams in the NBA, Whiteside tossed Dwight Howard and the Rockets' bigs aside and crushed it with a 14-point, five-dunk night.
2. That time he introduced himself to whoever wasn't paying attention -- especially Doc Rivers
For all those who thought Hassan was a very tall fluke, a one-dimensional player who had a job in the NBA only because he was supertall, there was the game against the Clippers on January 11. Against Doc Rivers, a coach who turned down signing him earlier, Whiteside threw down 23 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and had two blocks for his official coming-out party. Whiteside was so dominant, even the Clipper announcers were in awe.
1. That time he said he wanted his NBA2K rating to go up... AND THEN IT LITERALLY DID.
— NBA 2K 2K15 (@NBA2K) January 25, 2015
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