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Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says Hassan Whiteside heading to locker room early is ‘totally unacceptable’ | NBA

Hassan Whiteside left the Heat bench early Tuesday.

The 29-year-old center connected on all six of his shots in the first 24 minutes against the Magic, but was held scoreless in the second half and did not play in the fourth quarter of Miami’s 105-90 loss.

Whiteside then abruptly walked back into the locker room with 40.5 seconds left to play.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was asked about Whiteside’s actions following the loss.

“Probably extremely upset,” Spoelstra said, via the Sun Sentinel. “Like we all are.”

But, one day later, Spoelstra said Whiteside leaving the bench was “totally unacceptable behavior.”

The seven-year veteran was seen shooting on the court after the game and did not meet with the media. But he told reporters Tuesday he headed back to the locker room because he had to use the bathroom. 

Whiteside also said he wasn’t frustrated by his lack of fourth-quarter minutes. 

“Coach is going to make the best decision, and the organization’s got Spo’s back,” Whiteside said (via the Sun Sentinel). “I trust him. That’s all I can do. I can only control what I can control, try and do my job.”

Whiteside finished the contest with 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. The loss dropped Miami’s record to 9-14 this season.

Whiteside entered the matchup with the Magic averaging 13.6 points and 13.9 rebounds in 27 minutes per game in 2018-19.

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