Dion Waiters on Role After Ankle Injury: 'F--k Patience! I Want to Play'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2019

Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters does drills during NBA basketball training camp, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Dion Waiters was not happy he played just 12 minutes in the Miami Heat's 124-86 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.

"F--k patience!" he said, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. "I want to play. I've been patient long enough. What do I got to be patient for? Come on man. I've been patient. I think everybody knows that. It's time. What are we waiting for? If I'm out there, play me."

Jackson noted Waiters has not started any of his team's seven games since returning from ankle surgery and hasn't played more than 24 minutes in any of them.

Jackson also added context to the patience comment from Waiters, pointing out head coach Erik Spoelstra has said the swingman must wait to see significant playing time because of the depth on the team and the seriousness of the injury he suffered.

The Syracuse product is accustomed to starting, seeing how he started 73 of the 76 games he played for the Heat in 2016-17 and 2017-18. He averaged 15.8 points per game in 2016-17 and 14.3 a night last season but had just two points on 1-of-4 shooting from the field in Tuesday's game.

He has scored in double figures just once this season as he works his way back from injury.

There is something to be said about the depth on the Heat in regard to playing time for the veteran. The team, which occupies the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, has 13 players averaging more than 16 minutes a night and 11 averaging more than 20 minutes per game.

That is plenty of playing time to divide for Spoelstra, and the coach clearly doesn't think Waiters is ready to start and play serious minutes just yet.

Waiters made his thoughts on the matter perfectly clear as well.

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