Of course, you would've already been hip to that fact had you read a piece earlier this month on Mr. Whiteside opening up the NBA's eager eyes, but the former second-round pick erased any doubt about his ability with a 14-point, 13-rebound, 12-block effort in Sunday's 96-84 win over the Chicago Bulls.
Whiteside is the first player to post those numbers in a game since 2000, joining Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, David Robinson, Dikembe Mutombo, Mark Eaton and Shawn Bradley as the only others to record a triple-dozen since the 1985-86 NBA season, according to Basketball Reference's game finder.
Among Whiteside's earliest detractors — and there were many, including every NBA team who idled by as he dominated D-League and overseas opponents since the Sacramento Kings waived him in July 2012 —was the NBA 2K franchise, which ranked him among the league's worst with a 49 rating in 2K12.
Man that's crazy 2k12 gave me a rating of a mascot they should of jus left me injured lik I was in the season dam lol
— Hassan Whiteside (@youngwhiteside) October 4, 2011
So, when Whiteside logged his triple-dozen in 25 minutes off the bench — obliterating Alonzo Mourning's previous franchise single-game record of nine blocks in the process — he offered this explanation for his sudden rise to stardom in a postgame interview: "I'm just trying to get my 2K rating up."
Just as the Bulls and everyone else in the basketball world did on Sunday, the video game company heard Whiteside loud and clear, increasing his 2K15 rating 18 points to 77 within a matter of hours.
— NBA 2K 2K15 (@NBA2K) January 25, 2015
For reference sake, 24 players entered the season with a 77 rating from 2K15, including Kevin Garnett, Mason Plumlee, Draymond Green, J.J. Redick, Jeremy Lin, Vince Carter and Andrew Wiggins. Based on Sunday's effort, though, Whiteside won't stop until he reaches Bill Russell's legendary 98 retro rating.
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