Heat fine Dion Waiters for postgame expletive-laden comments

ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 18, 2019 06:52 AM
Heat fine Dion Waiters for postgame expletive-laden comments
FILE - DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 3: Dion Waiters #11 and Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat talk during the game against the Denver Nuggets on November 3, 2017 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

BIRMINGHAM, Michigan (AP) — The Miami Heat have fined Dion Waiters an undisclosed amount for his expletive-laden comments about playing time earlier this week.

Waiters made the comments to reporters from two South Florida newspapers after Miami’s lopsided loss in Milwaukee on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). The Heat were off Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) and announced the fine Thursday (Friday, PHL time).

“We fined him and we addressed it as a team,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Waiters has played in five games this season, all as a reserve. He missed just over a full year while recovering from surgery to repair a long-problematic ankle, and has repeatedly said that being patient throughout the process is a challenge for him.

“Look, this is going to be very difficult for Dion,” Spoelstra said. “I have empathy for everything he’s gone through in the last year to get back to where he is right now. But this is not about him. This is only about the team and it’s about winning.”

Miami is 21-21 this season, going into its game Friday (Saturday, PHL time) at Detroit.

Waiters appeared in 76 games in his first two seasons with the Heat, starting 73 of those. He’s averaged 16.1 points for Miami as a starter, 7.0 points for the Heat as a reserve. And he’s trying to get minutes now with Miami having a slew of wings already in the rotation, including Dwyane Wade, Josh Richardson, Rodney McGruder and Tyler Johnson.

Even Wayne Ellington, who set a Heat franchise record for three-pointers made in a season a year ago, has fallen out of the rotation this year in large part because of Miami’s depth at the wing.

Spoelstra said no one is going to volunteer their minutes for Waiters.

“We value him. We need him,” Spoelstra said. “It won’t be on his terms. It’ll be on the team’s terms.”

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