No, this post has nothing to do with Donald Sterling ... the Whiteside we're talkin' about is a 25-year-old monster who could be the next big superstar in the NBA ... so says Rick Ross.
Ross -- who has a Miami Heat logo tatted on his FACE -- tells TMZ Sports he's FIRED UP about Hassan Whiteside ... who essentially came out of nowhere to dominate for the Heat this season.
FYI -- Whiteside recently put up 24 points and 20 rebounds in a game ... the first Heat player to pull that off since Shaq did it in 2004.
But according to Ross, he's no Jeremy Lin ... Tha Boss is adamant Whiteside is the "real deal."
BONUS -- Remember when Ross got Patriots owner Bob Kraft to do the "money dance" at the Super Bowl after-party? Ross does ... and he's damn proud of it. Check out the clip.