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Dion Waiters discusses struggles with Heat in Players’ Tribune piece

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Waiters said, “Even before this season, we knew it was over” about his time in Miami

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

The last time Dion Waiters wrote a piece in the Players’ Tribune, “The NBA is Lucky I’m Home Writing Damn Articles,” the Heat had just finished a 30-11 run that ended just shy of a playoff berth. Until a late-season injury, Waiters had helped Miami on their run, averaging 18.4 points while shooting 44.5 percent from downtown in a 25-game stretch.

And oh yeah, we weren’t in the midst of a global pandemic.

Now, Waiters has written another article in the Players’ Tribune. He was miffed that rookies Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro jumped ahead of him in the rotation. He suffered a panic attack on the team plane after consuming a THC-infused edible. And he endured multiple suspensions from the Heat before Miami traded him at the trade deadline.

The guard said that the plane incident “was idiotic on my behalf — point-blank, period.” He said that he doesn’t do drugs, “but sometimes when you’re going through dark times, you can fall trap to things you’d never do in your right mind.”

Waiters also discussed the injury that caused him to have season-ending surgery in January 2018. At the time, it was characterized as an ankle injury, but he said in the piece, “Facts: I played a year and a half on a broken foot.”

And Waiters says he still has love for Pat Riley and “all the respect in the world for Micky Arison.” He added, “But even before this season, we knew it was over.”

Is that really true, though? Kendrick Nunn has provided Miami what they hoped to get from Waiters, but Nunn wasn’t assured of a rotation spot until he played so well in the preseason and then became the opening-night starter.