Hassan Whiteside didn’t just get sent off the court Tuesday night, he got sent home.
Heat officials told the 26-year-old to leave the arena after he got hit with a flagrant-2 for elbowing the Spurs’ Boban Marjanovic as they tried to get position for a rebound.
“We’ve been through this with him before,” Spoelstra said of Whiteside. “It’s a disappointing play. That’s not a basketball play.”
Along with the ejection, the flagrant-2 comes with a one-game suspension, which he can appeal. With the All-Star break in Toronto set for this weekend, Whiteside, if he doesn’t appeal, will be eligible to return to the lineup on February 20 against the Wizards.
Hassan Whiteside takes Boban Marjanovic into the post.
Whiteside, who leads the league in blocked shots, had 14 points and six rebounds when he was ejected in the fourth quarter of the 119-101 loss.
His teammates did not sound thrilled with the 7-footer.
“Whatever consequences come from it, he’s got to deal with it,” team captain Dwyane Wade said.
“You never turn your back on your teammate, but at the same time you are not always in a position to grab someone’s hand and walk them through every step of the way,” he added. “… sometimes, we don’t know what he is thinking, but like I said, we support each other.”
Tuesday marked Hassan Whiteside’s third ejection in the last two seasons.
Whiteside was tossed from two games last season, when he played in just 48 games. He was ejected along with Suns center Alex Len were for mixing it up during a game and he was also tossed after shoving Boston’s Kelly Olynyk. Despite these lapses, he still stands to be a sought-after commodity in free agency, something teammate Chris Bosh said the center needs to be mindful of.
“The next step for him is really learning about reputation,” Bosh told ESPN. “Unfortunately, he’s taken a step back. You have to build your reputation back up. Whether it’s right or wrong, whether he made contact or not, I really don’t know. But people see that and tend to expect certain things.”