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Blazers’ Hassan Whiteside calls out critics questioning his effort


Hassan Whiteside had a bone to pick with his critics. Following a 107-101 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Portland Trail Blazers center addressed criticism from the likes of Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal.

“I expect Shaq to diss. Dame killed him in the rap battle. So we ain’t going to hear anything positive from Shaq ever again,” said Whiteside, according to Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. “And Charles Barkley is going to pretty much go along with it.”

Whiteside has also garnered some criticism regarding his all-around effort, at times looking aloof and disengaged from the action, tending to disappear in games.

“You can’t average a double-double and not give effort,” he said. “You can’t go out there and get all them rebounds without giving effort. I would love to tell them to go try it.”

The 7-footer did put up 17 points and 19 rebounds in Thursday’s loss to the Clippers, but he’s had underwhelming performances in the past that have been fair questions. Only last month he put up only seven points and eight rebounds in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs, without facing any sort of foul trouble.

Whiteside is off to a strong start this season averaging 14.7 points and 13 rebounds per game, but his potential is only as high as his effort level — and if he can put the two together, he’s bound to really make a difference in the Blazers’ playoff chances.