Dion Waiters is having the best season of his NBA career despite injury problems.
His latest injury which has him sidelined is a sprained left ankle. The injury happened during a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves when his foot landed on Gorgui Dieng's foot instead of the hardwood. So far, he has missed two games in addition to missing most of the rest of the T'Wolves game. This is actually the second time Waiters sprained that ankle this year. Early in February, also against the T'Wolves, Waiters sprained his ankle and missed three games.
In a recent Miami Herald piece, Manny Navarro writes about Waiters' ankle injury and the shoes that he wears - low-top Nike Kobe A.D.'s. These are the shoes Waiters has been wearing his whole NBA career. After the Minnesota game last Friday, the Sun Sports team also discussed Dion's low tops. They said that even if he had a pair of high-top shoes on, the injury would have still happened. They also said that high-top or low-top doesn't really matter because players tape up their ankles to try to prevent injuries just like the one Waiters suffered.
The shoe business is a big part of basketball. Most of the big name players have their own shoe line these days. If you’ve walked into any shoe store or have been shopping for shoes online lately, you might have noticed that there are hundreds of different choices in just the basketball section.
It wasn't always like that, though. During the early years of the NBA all the way up until the 1980's, most players wore the iconic Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars, a shoe designed in 1917. In the 1980's most NBA stars were wearing Converse Weapons including Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas. Even Michael Jordan wore that particular model in college before changing the basketball shoe business and signing with Nike to create his iconic Air Jordan brand of shoes.
Now, some current and former players make more money off of shoes than they do from their multi-million dollar NBA salaries. Former Heat superstar and current Cavs superstar LeBron James reportedly signed a massive lifetime shoe deal with Nike worth an estimated $1 billion. Another former Heat superstar, Dwyane Wade also has a signature line of shoes with a lesser known Chinese company called Li-Ning. But, interestingly, while some of the current Heat players do have shoe deals, none of them wear their own signature shoe on the court (and that includes 11-time All-Star Chris Bosh).
You’ve probably seen the now dead meme that the title is referring to. So, [pointing at the Heat’s feet] “WHAT ARE THOSE?!”
Here is a list of what the rest of the Heat players wear from nbashoesadb.com:
Luke Babbitt - Nike Hyperdunk 2016
Chris Bosh - Nike Air Max Hyperposite PE
Goran Dragic - Adidas D Lillard 2
Wayne Ellington - Nike Kobe A.D.
Udonis Haslem - Li-Ning Way of Wade 808
James Johnson - Air Jordan 9 Retro
Tyler Johnson - Li-Ning Wade All-City 5
Josh McRoberts - Li-Ning Way of Wade 808
Josh Richardson - Air Jordan 13 Retro
Dion Waiters - Nike Kobe A.D.
Hassan Whiteside - Nike LeBron 14
Justise Winslow - Adidas J Wall 2
Willie Reed, Rodney McGruder and Okaro White are left blank. If any of you know what they wear, leave it in the comments.
Something that might have caught your eye is what Goran Dragic wears - an older version of Damian Lillard's signature shoe by Adidas. Last Sunday, Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers came to Miami. Lillard torched Dragic and the rest of the Heat with a 49-point game on 14-of-21 shooting including 9-of-12 from deep. Dragic was held to 17 points on 6-of-22 shooting and just 1 of 7 from deep. Maybe it is time for Goran to upgrade to the Adidas Dame 3, the shoe that Lillard is currently wearing? Because as everyone knows, it has got to be the shoes... right?