The Miami Heat fined reserve guard Dion Waiters an undisclosed amount Thursday for his profanity-filled complaints about playing time earlier this week.
Coming back from left ankle surgery that sidelined him for nearly a year, the 27-year-old Waiters has played in only five of Miami’s first 42 games this season.
After logging only 12 minutes in Tuesday night’s lopsided 124-86 loss at Milwaukee, Waiters expressed his frustrations with the team’s patient approach.
“F—- patience,” he told a reporter from the Sun-Sentinel. “I want to play. I’ve been patient.”
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra called it an internal matter.
“We fined him and we addressed it as a team,” Spoelstra said Thursday. “I have empathy for everything he’s gone through in the last year to get back to where he is right now. But this is not about him. This is only about the team and it’s about winning.”
The Heat are 21-21 entering Friday’s game at Detroit.
Waiters believes he is ready to make a difference. In his first two seasons with Miami, he appeared in 76 games (73 starts) and averaged 15.2 points, 4.1 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 30.3 minutes per game.
“I’ve been patient long enough,” Waiters said Tuesday. “What I got to be patient for? Come on, man. Yeah, if I’m out there, play me right now.”
Waiters is part of a deep wing rotation that includes Dwyane Wade, Josh Richardson, Rodney McGruder, Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington.
Asked about his next step, Waiters said, “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. F—-, I’m tired of this. I’m being patient right now.”
—Field Level Media