The Heat have hit Dion Waiters with a fine after he publicly griped about his playing time earlier in the week, suggesting he was tired of being “patient” as he waited for an increased role. Miami didn’t disclose how much the fine for Waiters was worth, but said it was for conduct detrimental to the team, as David Furones of The South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra addressed the issue today, telling reporters that dropping expletives and complaining to the media about his playing time won’t earn Waiters more minutes (Twitter link via Furones).
“I think it’s important for him to realize: Our team is much different than when he left last year, and while his teammates are really here to support him, nobody is volunteering their rotation minutes to him. It’ll have to be earned just like everybody else,” Spoelstra said, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “These concepts of patience and surrendering to the team, whether we want to put expletives in front of it or behind it, those are going to be very important concepts for him to embrace, and I think he will.”
Here’s more on Waiters and the Heat:
- According to Jackson, Waiters said today that he’s glad he let his frustration out, but he should have expressed it differently. “I was frustrated,” Waiters said. “I want to play. I want to speed this process up a little bit. I don’t mean no harm to nobody. I’m not perfect nor do I try to be. I just want to play the game I love that I missed for a year.” Waiters added that he “absolutely” wants to remain with the Heat.
- Multiple teammates, including Udonis Haslem, spoke to Waiters – both privately and during a team meeting on Wednesday – about channeling his frustration in more productive ways, writes Jackson. “We don’t have any bad apples on our team,” Haslem said. “We understand Dion’s comments, while not the right thing to do, are coming from a good place.”
- Waiters isn’t the only Heat player frustrated by his role. In a separate article for The Miami Herald, Jackson reports that Wayne Ellington‘s agent has had conversations with Heat officials about his client’s limited role and his future with the club. According to Jackson, the team stressed that it values Ellington and is aware he’d like to play more, but no promises were made.