In the latest chapter of what’s been a troubling season for Dion Waiters, the Heat swingman reportedly suffered a seizure after the team plane landed in Los Angeles on Thursday night.
As first reported by South Florida Fox Sports Radio host Andy Slater (Twitter links), Waiters suffered a “medical emergency” on the flight. Slater noted that Waiters overdosed on “gummies,” a term for an edible form of marijuana. Waiters was passed out when the plane landed and suffered the seizure once he was awoken, Slater added.
Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel confirmed that Waiters fell ill on that Thursday night flight. Winderman mentioned that its unclear whether or not Slater’s report of “gummies” was referencing marijuana but they are easily accessible in Denver, where the Heat began a three-game road trip against the Nuggets.
The Heat have not confirmed any of these reports outside of listing Waiters as unavailable for Friday’s loss to the Lakers due to “illness,” without further specification.
Waiters, 27, was expected to be a key contributor for Miami this season but instead has yet to suit up. It all started with a one-game suspension ahead of the club’s season opener in late October.
“There were a number of unacceptable incidents this week, culminating with his unprofessional conduct on the bench last night,” team president Pat Riley said at the time. “As a consequence, I feel we had to suspend him.”
The issue proved to be a heated conversation with head coach Erik Spoelstra over Waiters’ playing time. He played for just 10 minutes during the Heat’s final preseason game, which led to the blowup. Following the suspension, Waiters was critical of the team and Spoelstra on social media, commenting on one Instagram post, “I would win if I had Bron & Wade plus Bosh.”
Since then, Waiters has been active for a few of the Heat’s games and been a regular at shootaround, However, he has yet to play in a regular-season game and has not been on the bench for a single game. On Friday, we relayed uncertainty around Waiters’ status with the team.
After this latest development, Waiters’ personal health and well being will be at the forefront of the team’s concerns. However, it’s fair to wonder if Waiters — who has two years and $25MM left on his deal — will ever play for the Heat again.