One of the surprise teams this season are the Miami Heat, who after an 11-30 start have won 22 of their last 27 games and are now battling to make it to the playoffs. With almost everyone in the team stepping up, Dion Waiters has shined the brightest for his clutch baskets night in and night out.
His popularity grew even more when he drilled the game-winning three-pointer two months ago against the Golden State Warriors which sent shockwaves around the league. What makes it even more unforgettable was his pose when he folded his arms and pretended as if nothing happened.
The 25-year-old Syracuse product was asked what his inspiration was to do it, and he casually responded via Michael Lee of The Vertical that it’s all about his swag.
“That’s just that Philly cheese swag. Now, everybody sees me, they do the pose.”
Waiters also discussed the confidence that he’s always had and why he never lacked having it.
“This season right here, I truly believe it shows players that when things aren’t going right, or if you’re on better teams and have a lesser role, or you’re knowing you can do some of the things these other guys are doing but never really had the chance, be patient. Keep working and always have faith and the utmost confidence in yourself. I always had confidence in myself. Everybody knows that. That’s how I am. I never lacked confidence. I don’t care. You could make jokes of it. But I’m a man. I’m a father at the end of the day. I can’t allow my child to see his father lack confidence in any situation. That’s why as a man, you’ve got to believe you can do anything you put your mind to.”
He is having his best season so far as a professional and has evolved his game from being a catch-and-shoot to an all around player thriving on both ends of the floor. Waiters is averaging a career high 16.1 point, 3.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 30.6 minutes per game, and has become the Heat’s go-to-guy especially in late game situations.
Despite what many believed was not a good decision for him to join a rebuilding team, Waiters is proving them all wrong as he knows he has been better since moving to South Beach. With the confidence he has and the trust the organization has in him, he knows they are in a good position to make it to the postseason. More importantly, his faith lessens the worries he has and he is certain the Heat will be successful.
“I’m a winner. When I was hurt and things like that, people were counting us out. Pat [Riley] told me, ‘When you come back, you’re going to take off.’ And ever since then, we built chemistry, we built that trust and we just took off and it’s a testament in having faith and believing everything is going to be all right.”
The Heat may currently be in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with a 33-35 record, but from where they were at when the year turned, nobody believed they can even vie for a playoff spot. Now that they have given themselves a shot at it, it will be very hard to count them out as they have a growing belief in themselves that can do it, especially with Waiters on their side.