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Santa Hates Hassan Whiteside, but Loves Kenny Stills

Santa Hates Hassan Whiteside, but Loves Kenny Stills
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
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Cmon' everybody! If you know the words, sing with me!... "He's making a list and checking it twice/Gonna find out who's naughty and nice."

We're officially on Christmas watch, which means Santa is packing up his sleigh. Of course, he doesn't reward naughty. Nope. You better be nice, or instead of that iPhone X, you may very well find the best presents Dollar General has to offer under the tree.

This year, Miami has had its fair share of both good and bad sports figures. Here is the definitive South Florida sports naughty and nice list for 2018. And never forget — both Santa (and Russian moles) see all.

Naughty: J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto may be the best catcher in baseball but he's also a freakin' Grinch. Rather than stick around and be a part of something special in Miami under new management, he has demanded a trade to a contender. Because he's owed something by everyone, apparently.

Realmuto is team control for the foreseeable future, so if the Marlins decide to keep him, he can just cry about it into his catcher's mitt. If he thinks being traded from Miami will help his career, he is sadly mistaken! Ha! Wait. Crap! Please stay.

Santa Hates Hassan Whiteside, but Loves Kenny Stills
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

Nice: Kenny Stills. Kenny Stills is just a solid dude. Between his continued fight for racial equality, his dedication to helping foster dialogue between diverse local communities and law enforcement, and his constant presence in the community on his days off supporting less fortunate and/or ill children, Stills is a model athlete.

Stills legitimately could run for office in Miami when his playing days are over. That's how influential he has been.

Santa Hates Hassan Whiteside, but Loves Kenny Stills
Photo by George Martinez

Nice: Dwyane Wade. Dwyane Wade is a made man. Until the end of time, he will be considered a face on the Mount Rushmore of Miami sports heroes. This year he could have decided to pack it in and drink wine in Ibiza, but instead he came back for one last dance, thus giving Heat fans a chance to properly say goodbye.

And thank heavens he did, because the Heat is otherwise absolutely depressing to watch. Wade is owed all the gifts and retirement pay Micky Arison can manage. Wade is a hero in Miami and his stocking should be stuffed.
Naughty: Hassan Whiteside. The Miami center is having a shitty year. Literally. His most famous moment of the season thus far came when he ran off the court before a game was over to take a poop. Whiteside was a mistake. All seven feet of him. And now the Heat gets to babysit his emotions nightly because the team handed him $100 million.

Whiteside is the exact opposite of whatever "Heat Culture" means or used to mean. He cares only about himself and his stats. He'd rather get 30 rebounds in a loss than nine in a win in which he didn't play the fourth quarter. He's the naughtiest damn athlete Miami has seen in some time.

Emilio Estefan with Derek and Hannah Jeter
Emilio Estefan with Derek and Hannah Jeter
World Red Eye

Naughty: Derek Jeter. Jeter is the fall guy for what happened in Marlins Park before he arrived. That's just how it is. He didn't create this mess, but he feels the fan base's wrath. Then again, that comes with trading the last two NL MVPs for what seems not much other than salary cap relief and a whole bunch of unproven guys.

Jeter knew trading Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich would suck, but even he could not have seen the trades blowing up in his face this badly. Stanton had a nice year with the Yankees and Yelich may damn well be the best player in the NL on a very fair contract. Coal will be in your stocking this year, Mr. Jeter, but let's hope next year it'll be a Louisville Slugger.

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