Heat news: Bam Adebayo acknowledges ‘big responsibility’ of becoming Miami’s starting center
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Bam Adebayo acknowledges ‘big responsibility’ of becoming Heat’s starting center

Bam Adebayo, Heat

Bam Adebayo is ready to embrace the challenge of becoming the Miami Heat’s full-time starting center.

The soon-to-be 22-year-old big man has taken over as the team’s starting center in the second half of the 2018-19 season. However, with the trade of Hassan Whiteside, the Kentucky product figures to get the full-time role come the 2019-20 campaign.

While Adebayo is excited about the opportunity though, he acknowledged that getting the role — at his age — is a “big responsibility” for him.

“They said they see a bright future for me, and they’re willing to keep me and I appreciate that,” Adebayo said, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “But it is a big responsibility. It’s a lot of pressure to it. I’m about to be 22 on Thursday, and you’re about to become a starting center for a whole season for a big franchise. And that comes with a lot of responsibility and challenges.”

At 6-foot-10, Bam wouldn’t be the same dominating presence in the paint as Whiteside was for Miami. Nonetheless, the 2017 lottery pick could be a dramatic change of pace at the five for the Heat as the franchise transitions into a new phase. For one reason, Adebayo presents as a more willing passer for his position and is a more fluid athlete than Whiteside, who used to bully opponents attempting short-range shots.

Now, the South Beach franchise can expect Adebayo to turn up the heat in other ways, like being a mobile big on both ends of the court.

Bam averaged 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game in 82 games played and 28 starts for the Heat last season.