Sport Dave Hyde: Heat's Era of Lost Causes almost closed with Waiters' coming exit
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How we got here is something of a play in three acts, involving machinations by Ukrainians, Trump and Democrats in turn, with the fourth act to be written. ___THE BLACK EARTHUkraine is a land of dark, fertile soil where corruption and assorted American conspiracy theories have taken root along with the wheat and cabbage. Trump's preoccupation with Joe Biden and his son Hunter flourished there.A true if flawed democracy on Russia's doorstep, Ukraine in 2014 ushered out a pro-Russian leader who tolerated corruption and replaced him with an anti-Russian leader who tolerated somewhat less corruption.
Carry on. Move along. There’s little left to see from the latest and loudest Dion Waiters mess other than the sports version of a spill on aisle five now awaiting cleanup.
Waiters is not just invisible but irrelevant to the Heat now, as Monday’s practice underlined. His time left in town is down to red tape, league rules, proper timing, finding a trade he fits as an accounting measure and using a wet mop to wipe the Heat clean of a relationship far past functional.
If Heat President Pat Riley didn’t finalize this thought after Waiters reported again out of shape and out of his mind this preseason — and Riley probably did then — this past weekend served to confirm the coming split.
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‘This president, he’s like a planetary object,” Adam Schiff said. “He warps time. And things that you think happened a couple weeks ago, it turns out, only happened a day or two ago.” Schiff was slumped in a chair in his Washington office, tie askew and eyebrows ruffled, as if he’d been kneading his forehead. It was a little past 5:30 p.m. on the first Friday of October, the end of a week that, Schiff thought, “has been like three years compressed into a week.
Gummiegate was the latest issue for Waiters, a serial miscreant of team rules and common sense who now has a 10-game suspension. Waiters had to be treated after a seizure on a team plane due to THC-laced gummie bears, according to multiple media reports. Air Waiters indeed.
That, by itself, would make you wonder just where Waiters fit on a Heat team that’s re-worked its roster, reclaimed its culture and re-invented itself in fun fashion this season. It added young, impactful talent through smarts and scouting in the manner the Dolphins and Marlins are squandering years to do.
But the full truth is this wasn’t much of a marriage from the time Waiters signed a four-year, $52 million deal in what can now be termed Riley’s Era of Lost Causes. The man known for a cold, executive heart saw only the good in the child-like Hassan Whiteside, limited Tyler Johnson and journeymen James Johnson and Waiters.
Heat on lockdown regarding Dion Waiters’ health situation
The Miami Heat have gone into lockdown when it comes to the status of guard Dion Waiters. In the wake of a report by South Florida Fox Sports Radio host Andy Slater, Heat officials declined to comment on where Waiters stands with the team in the wake of an incident on the team flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles overnight Thursday. After the South Florida Sun Sentinel independently confirmed that Waiters had taken ill on the flight, with emergency responders meeting the team plane on the tarmac, Slater reported Friday night, “Waiters overdosed on ‘gummies,’ sources say, and was passed out when plane landed.
In return, Riley got who they were all along. The departure of Whiteside and Johnson came at a cost, as will this one for Waiters.
He signed on for four year and $52 million, knowing the program he was entering was part-NBA, part-Navy Seals. Weight checks. Behavior expectations. Imagine that for $12.5 million a year, right?
Waiters got that money and the Heat got the headache Waiters was in Cleveland and Oklahoma City. So the big blame here isn’t to Waiters. He remained the guy he was all along. He was out of shape and injured, as well as fundamentally unable to see who he is as a basketball player.
He’s part of the chorus, not the star he casts himself. Maybe such irrational boldness is how he made it to the NBA. It’s certainly why he confronted coach Erik Spoelstra on the sideline of a preseason game. Then again on Instagram. And again.
By Monday, Spoelstra was taking no questions about Waiters, referring only to a team release on the suspension. He was much more animated on the ways this team and its individual parts have played in a 6-3 start — “and we know we can get better from here,” he said.
Heat suspend guard Dion Waiters 10 games after reported THC edible incident
The 27-year-old guard did not play in Friday’s loss to the Lakers due to illness. Waiters is in the third year of a four-year, $52 million contract and has not played this season. He was suspended two games for social media comments before the season in which he complained about his role.Related slideshow: The 25 best NBA teams of the 2010s (Provided by Yardbarker) 1/26 SLIDES © MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images The 25 best NBA teams of the 2010s As the decade comes to a close, it's time to look back at the best teams of the 2010s.
Udonis Haslem, as elder spokesman of Heat players, expressed relief Waiters was safe but refused to label it as a distraction.
“Obviously, the situation has been handled, so we move on,’ he said.
Waiters was probably never returning to the team after his preseason antics. The question remains exactly how he exits. The Heat need their current 14 players under contract to meet league rules and have no salary-cap money to simply cut Waiters and add another player.
So a trade is probably coming at some point where Waiters’ value is as an accounting measure to match up salaries of other players. Until then? Cleveland just told J.R. Smith to stay away last year. That sounds about right here.
The shame Waiters would have a role if he’d kept things in order. Jimmy Butler missed the first few games of the season on paternity leave. Injuries have the Heat down to possibly nine players now.
But we’re past pretending any reconciliation is coming. Put it on the schedule like Tuesday against Detroit or Thursday at Cleveland. Waiters is going. He probably was before Gummiegate. The mess just got bigger for the cleanup on aisle five.
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Heat’s Dion Waiters makes first comments to media since initial suspension at the beginning of the regular season .
Dion Waiters served the fourth game of his 10-game suspension in a familiar place. While the Miami Heat were putting away the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday to stay undefeated at AmericanAirlines Arena, Waiters made an appearance at his alma mater, Syracuse, during the Orange’s victory against Seattle.
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