Hassan Whiteside started his career as a second-round pick and his journey since then was interesting and made him change destinations quite frequently. Sacramento Kings were his first NBA team after which he changed several teams in the NBA D-League. Eventually, Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley recognized his talent and for the past 4 seasons, he’s been a member of the Miami Heat.
In a recent interview, Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside spoke about his basketball career, which included a funny story from his trip to China.
Haley O’Shaughnessy spoke to Whiteside about his incredible come back to the NBA, which included an anecdote that perfectly displays the problem American players can have when playing overseas.
Via The Ringer:
“In China, he was unable to communicate, and therefore out of his element. A player from another team taught Whiteside how to greet: “Wǒ shì nǐ bàba”—hi, nice to meet you. He said it to everyone at home, on the road, in the gym. There were never any “you, too’s” in return, only blank stares. Well into the season, Whiteside found out from his team’s general manager that he was actually saying “I’m your daddy.” Whiteside immediately recognized the player in the layup line a year later, after he had left for Lebanon again, then returned back to China. He wishes he had dunked on him. Wǒ shì nǐ bàba.”
In China, Hassan Whiteside was tricked into saying “Wǒ shì nǐ bàba” to greet people. An opponent said it means, “Hi, nice to meet you.” Whiteside said this to EVERYONE. Much later, he learned it actually meant, “I’m your daddy.” ? (via @HaleyOSomething) https://t.co/aBe4i7Yx5P
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) October 16, 2018
The entire interview provides some insightful stories about Whiteside’s struggle to make it back to the NBA but this anecdote was pretty funny and it’s still unclear if Whiteside actually learned the proper greeting.