Dion Waiters couldn’t be with the Heat last night because he’s in the middle of a 10-game suspension, so he traveled to Syracuse to watch the Orange and get some advice from his college coach, writes Donna Ditota of Syracuse.com.
“I just wanted to come up and talk to coach (Jim Boeheim),” Waiters said in his first public comments since the season began. “I know that’s a person who will always be there for me if I ever need anything. It’s a chance for me to come up, be around, talk to the coaches, things like that. And that’s important.”
It’s been a troubled season already for Waiters, who was also suspended for opening night after clashing with Miami coach Erik Spoelstra in a preseason argument about playing time. Waiters has only been active for two games and hasn’t taken the court at all.
The emergence of rookies Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro has made Waiters expendable in an already crowded backcourt. The Heat have reportedly tried to work out a trade, but haven’t found any interest in Waiters, who is making $12.1MM this year and is under contract for 2020/21 at $12.65MM.
In his conversation with Ditota, Waiters refused to discuss the specifics of what happened on the team flight, but insisted he’s still “in a great place” mentally.
“I can only control what I can control at the end of the day, so some things you just can’t allow to take your head the other way, some things happen for a reason,” he said. “If you stay locked in, if you believe and trust in yourself, trust in the work you put in, you know, it’s a minor setback. It happens. It’s life. You learn from it. The only thing I can do is move forward. Stay focused. Stay even-keeled. Let everything else take care of itself.”