Heat guard Dion Waiters has been suspended for 10 games without pay, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania (Twitter link), the suspension is club-issued, with the Heat citing conduct detrimental to the team.
The Heat made their decision in the wake of Waiters experiencing a medical episode on a team flight after consuming a “gummy,” an edible form of marijuana. Per Charania (via Twitter), the club believes Waiters was given that gummy by a teammate, but the veteran guard hasn’t been willing to say where he got it from.
“We are very disappointed in Dion’s actions this season that include the very scary situation on Thursday night, and grateful that the outcome wasn’t worse,” the Heat said in a statement. “There have been a number of instances this season in which Dion has engaged in conduct detrimental to the team.
“… We expect all of our players, including Dion, to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards, and to show professionalism and respect for their teammates, the team, the fans and the NBA community.”
According to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (via Twitter), Waiters’ suspension began on Friday when Miami faced the Lakers. As such, he’ll be eligible to return on December 1 in Brooklyn. Based on how his season has gone so far, however, it’s safe to say Waiters won’t be immediately reinserted into the Heat’s lineup at that point.
This is already the second time Waiters has been suspended in 2019/20 — the Heat also banned him for the first game of the season due to conduct detrimental to the team. Since then, he has been inactive for nearly all the club’s games and has yet to play a single regular-season minute.
The 27-year-old made additional waves when he took to social media following his first suspension and took shots at head coach Erik Spoeltra, commenting on one Instagram post, “I would win if I had Bron & Wade plus Bosh.” Winderman suggests (via Twitter) that Waiters’ social media posts were a factor in the latest discipline levied by the Heat.
As Bobby Marks of ESPN observes (via Twitter), Waiters’ latest suspension will cost him in excess of $834K in salary. He’s also now ineligible to receive his $1.2MM bonus for playing in at least 70 games, though that looked like a long shot anyway, based on how the first few weeks of the season played out.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.