“"He catches lobs. I shoot jumpers, catch lobs, block shots. I do a lot. He just catches lobs." - Hassan Whiteside.
Hassan Whiteside EXPLODED recently. In his first two years (10-11, 11-12, in Sacramento) he played very sparsely - 1gm/2min his first year, 18gms/6.1min his second- and then he went overseas. He played in China and Lebanon before returning to the US and the Miami Heat, where he played 48gms/23.8min and averaged a double-double (11.8pts/10reb), in a season which was a revelation for him.
He was 26, and entering his prime, and a frontcourt of he and former All-Star Chris Bosh seemed like a great pairing with franchise cornerstone Dwayne Wade. Count Blockula had matured immensely since his first NBA stint, where his only season with legitimate minutes he averaged 1.6/2.2, and just three years later averaged 11.8/10 with 2.2 blocks. Of course, no one saw what happened next coming…
Though 2015 was a HUGE year for Whiteside, 2016 was his true breakout season. He went from a 1yr/980k contract to a 4yr/$98mil deal. He went from an above-average 12/10 shot-blocker to… 14pts/12.7reb/3.7blks. Still a shot-blocking double-double machine, but now a much-improved version. But comparisons still came daily - Oh, it's DeAndre, hey it’s a worse DeAndre, and on and on.
Whiteside is a huge fan of the NBA2k franchise. Going into a January 25, 2015 game, he was a 59ovr in NBA 2k15. In that game he played 23 minutes, scored 14 points, grabbed 13 boards, and rejected TWELVE SHOTS! Looking at those numbers, that’s a bit over 18 blocks per 36 minutes. After the game, when asked about this incredible night, he said he was “Trying to get my 2k rating up”.They rewarded him by raising his rating to a 77. Fast forward to NBA 2k17, the Blockasaurus is an 85ovr, tied for 3rd- behind Karl-Anthony Towns and DeMarcus Cousins, and tied with Marc Gasol… and Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan.
"[Jordan's] got CP3 as a point guard—a great North Carolina point guard, I'd like to add." – Hassan Whiteside
Whiteside has been performing better thus far this year. Though neither has an All-Star appearance hasn’t happened for either, the Eastern Conference is much weaker on the big and front, so he is a more likely candidate. But even if they were in the same conference, Whiteside would have a better chance.
DeAndre, for his part, let his game do the talking.
“DeAndre Jordan gave his fans blocks, not quotes.
Jordan provided rebounds, not reports. He gave them the biggest basket rather than the toughest words.” Walter Villa
Jordan had 12/19 in the Clippers’ win vs the Heat.
So the question arises - who IS better?
Whiteside Pros: Playing better this year, offensive focal point, year younger, worse supporting cast, better shot, historic shot-blocker
Whiteside Cons: Worse FT%, worse FG%, prideful
DeAndre Pros: Better FG%, lets game do the talking
DeAndre Cons: Unreliable (Rockets situation), multiple All- NBA teammates, no jumper
Personally, Whiteside seems like a better player and would be a better-stranded star (If DeAndre went to a terrible team). But to be a third wheel, on a championship contender? DeAndre might just fit that role better.
(All stats via Basketball-reference.com, unless denoted otherwise)