Houston Rockets rookie Cam Whitmore entered the NBA Draft with a ton of fanfare, as he was viewed as a potential top-ten lottery pick following his one-and-done season at Villanova. Whitmore averaged 12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 47.8 percent from the field, and 34.3 percent from three and was easily one of the most athletic players in his draft class.
Whitmore slid down draft boards, as questions regarding his health strangely arose, while others questioned his calm and laid back demeanor. For this reason, the Rockets pulled off the steal of the 2023 NBA Draft, nabbing Whitmore with the 20th pick.
It was known that it would take Whitmore some time to develop, due in large part, to his age (just turned 19-years-old in July). Rockets coach Ime Udoka assigned Whitmore to the Rio Grande Vipers- the Rockets’ G-League affiliate- as he wasn’t going to have much of an opportunity to develop and improve upon his game on a Rockets roster that was built with the intention to contend and win-now.
Whitmore has turned heads in the G-League, as analysts and fans have taken notice of his play. Whitmore’s playmaking, which was easily one of his biggest weaknesses entering the 2023 NBA Draft, has undergone a complete transformation, as he’s dropped flashy, dazzling, cross-court dimes to his Vipers teammates.
Whitmore has averaged 24.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.7 steals, 48.6 percent from the field, 43.1 percent from long-range, and 78.6 percent from the foul line throughout the G-League Showcase.
On Wednesday, Whitmore and fellow rookie Amen Thompson suited up against the Oklahoma City Blue and put on a show in the Vipers’ 128-126 defeat. However, Whitmore got off to a bit of a slow start, with just 6 points through the first three quarters, drawing skepticism from many within the Rockets fanbase.
Cam Whitmore claps back at fan on social media.
Whitmore eliminated those doubts in the fourth quarter, dropping 22 points in the quarter alone and helping the Vipers erase a 71-56 halftime deficit. Whitmore made back-to-back pivotal threes, including one to tie the game 113-even and another to narrow the lead to 119-118.
All told, Whitmore had 28 points on 10/25 shooting (8/10 in the second half) and 7/14 from three and made it a point to get his lick back and silence the naysayers on X (formerly Twitter), after he was given praise for his turnaround in the second half.
Whitmore deleted the tweet, but as you can see, receipts last forever. Whitmore's clap back offers a constant reminder that players see what fans say about them on social media.
Even when they aren't being attacked or slandered (like in this case), we never know how they feel about anything that could be perceived as negative.
Whitmore won this round.