Ron Rothstein Rumors
The Heat staff is understandably reluctant to criticize Hassan Whiteside publicly when he has lapses (that would be counterproductive if they did), but TV analyst Ron Rothstein isn’t hesitant. While praising Whiteside overall, Rothstein told Heat Weekly host Tommy Tighe on 790 The Ticket on Saturday: “I don’t see maximum effort. He coasts a lot. That’s unacceptable.” Rothstein added that in the first quarter sometimes, opponents go the basket “unmolested [and Whiteside] is just standing there.” Whiteside, battling foul trouble, had just 12 points and 8 rebounds in Tuesday’s loss to Oklahoma City, shooting 4 for 11 from the field. In his defense, Whiteside has generally had a very good year. He leads the NBA in rebounding at 14.7 per game and ranks fifth in blocks at 2.28. Among centers, he’s fifth in scoring at 17.8.
How much did Shaq’s business knowledge help Dwyane Wade’s growth off the court early in his NBA career? Ron: “Shaq was always talking business. He came up to me one time, I’m not going to say where, but it was during the playoffs in a very big game on the road and it was maybe five minutes before we were going to start our pregame meeting and then we were going out to warmup, so maybe it was a half hour before tip-off. I happened to be sitting next to him in the locker room because it was a real small locker room. He turns to me and he says, ‘I never should have turned that deal down.’ I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ He said, ‘It was the biggest mistake of my life.’ I’m not going to mention the company, but I asked him why. And I remember his answer was so off the wall, so incongruous. We’re getting ready to play a huge game and just out of the clear blue sky he started talking to me about a business deal that he rejected. He said it was the biggest mistake of his life. “And in regard to talking to Dwyane and schooling him on how he handled his [business] and what happened with him, I think it was probably a great help to Dwyane.”
What was it like to coach Shaq? Ron: “The thing that I found, especially in the third year that I replaced Pat for 22 games, and Shaq was hurt for part of that. We had a couple of sit-down meetings and I was shocked at how, at times, insecure he was. He was like a big baby. He needed some positive reinforcement. He needed to be hugged without physically hugging. He had a kid’s spirit. I used to joke with his ex-wife Shaunie and say, ‘How are all your children doing?’ And she would just start laughing. He was just a big kid with an enormous impact on the game.”
Did anything surprise you about Shaq? Ron: “The fact that at times he was so insecure. That surprised me. That really surprised me. The other thing is that he hated to be dunked on. He really dreaded it. That’s why guys would come to the basket and he would just hammer them. If he couldn’t block their shot, some guys he would just hammer.”
Former Golden State and Sacramento coach Keith Smart has emerged as a strong candidate to join the Miami Heat’s revamped assistant coaching staff, league sources told Yahoo Sports. In the wake of a shakeup that resulted in the reassignments of Bob McAdoo and Ron Rothstein, Smart, 49, and Miami are discussing a role on head coach Erik Spoelstra’s bench, sources said. David Fizdale will continue as Spoelstra’s top assistant, and ex-Heat player Juwan Howard will move up to an assistant coaching job after a season working in player development, sources said.