Heat’s Dion Waiters says ‘f**k patience’ as benching continues
Miami Heat shooting guard Dion Waiters is tired of waiting after having done his time recovery from a season-ending ankle injury. Following his 12 minutes of garbage time in an ugly 124-86 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Philly native lost it in the locker room:
“F*** patience,” Waiters said, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I want to play. I’ve been patient.”
Waiters returned from injury on Jan. 2 after missing the first half of the season, only to miss the next two games before getting significant playing time against the Denver Nuggets (25 minutes) and Boston Celtics (20 minutes).
Since then, he has played only in garbage time — first 10 minutes against the struggling Memphis Grizzlies and now 12 against the Bucks.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra has tossed the word “patience” in the locker room plenty, as the Heat now try to adjust to a 10-man rotation after getting several bodies back from injury. But Waiters has waited long enough:
“I ain’t say nothing to nobody. I’ve been patient long enough,” Waiters continued. “What I got to be patient for? Come on, man. Yeah, if I’m out there, play me right now.”
If Hassan Whiteside’s tantrum for playing time was arduous enough to deal with, Waiters’ s***storm is another thing coming, as he’s not asking but demanding the Heat get him back out on the court:
“Get back to my regular self, get me back in the starting lineup, s*** like that. That’s what it is. You all know what it is,” he said. “F***, I’m tired of this. I’m being patient right now.”
The Heat have a logjam at the shooting guard position, forced to find minutes for Josh Richardson, Rodney McGruder, Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington and Dwyane Wade — only to add Waiters to that equation.
Spoelstra has played McGruder at small forward despite being 6-foot-4, while the likes of Johnson and Wade have done their share of point guard duties.
Waiters is a one-position player, which makes it difficult to shuffle him around to another spot due to his lack of defense, rebounding or playmaking, and he’s now becoming yet another giant headache for Spoelstra to dissipate.