Dion Waiters has not played in a game this season for the Miami Heat, but has still found his way into headlines even as the team finds success on the court without him.
Waiters was suspended for the opening game of the season for conduct detrimental to the team after posting to social media to voice his displeasure with his role with the team and criticize coach Erik Spoelstra. After returning from suspension, Waiters has yet to step on the floor, only being active twice, and missed Friday’s game with the Lakers officially due to an illness. However, as we learned over the weekend, there was much more at play that led to Waiters’ latest absence from the team.
The shooting guard had a stomachache in Phoenix and reportedly took an edible in an effort to alleviate his discomfort before the team’s flight to L.A. On the plane, Waiters had a panic attack and received medical attention afterwards, but by taking an edible — which, any THC-containing substance is a banned one by the NBA — he opened himself up to further punishment. On Sunday, he was handed a 10-game suspension, without pay, by the Heat for conduct detrimental to the team.
Here is Miami’s statement on its 10-game suspension of Dion Waiters without pay for “a number of instances this season in which Dion has engaged in conduct detrimental to the team” … pic.twitter.com/JFe6CmzbMT
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 10, 2019
Waiters’ absence won’t mean much to the Heat on the court, given that he has fallen completely out of the rotation, but it only furthers the divide between he and the team — and makes finding a potential new home where he could actually get some playing time all the more difficult.
However, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, there could be more to the story as the team believes Waiters got the edible from one of his teammates, but Waiters has not told the team who it may have been.