Dion Waiters speaks about new contract with the Heat, discusses Kyrie Irving situation

MIAMI — Dion Waiters is having a good summer.

The 25-year-old guard signed a four-year, $52 million contract with the Heat last month. And last weekend, he hosted his annual “Made in Philly” party in his hometown of Philadelphia. The bash was attended by rapper and close friend Meek Mill, Heat teammates Tyler Johnson, James Johnson, Okaro White and Wayne Ellington, and former Heat teammate Briante Weber, among others.

Before Waiters’ “Made in Philly” party, he spoke to HipHopSince1987 about his current situation with the Heat. While he’s enjoying the first big payday of his NBA career, Waiters knows he might have been able to sign a bigger contract if injuries didn’t limit him to 46 games last season.

“At the end of the day when I was on that court I produced,” he said. “[The Heat went] 30-11 in the second half of the season – 23-5 when I was on the court. I wasn’t satisfied at all. For me, it was just a little taste. I’m 25 man. We’re not going nowhere. That’s why I always say, ‘Bet on yourself and double down.’

“You have to think about that at the end of the day, from what happened last year when they just threw a lot of money out there, it was a lot of bad contracts last year. So this year a lot of teams were more safe like ‘we’re not throwing it out there like that.’ Even though I know like for real, for real what [my contract is] supposed be, I’m blessed with the situation and I’m going to make the best of that. But at the end of the day we know what’s up.”

The Miami Heat’s Dion Waiters (11) directs traffic against the Charlotte Hornets in the fourth quarter at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. The Heat won, 108-101. (Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/TNS)

Don’t get it twisted, though, Waiters is happy with his new contract.

“Got to think about it, no [state income] taxes [in Florida],” he said. “You see all that plus bonuses. You’ve just got to really save money. Do the right thing, have fun, but save. I’m 25. I got another [big contract in the future].”

As for the possibility of disgruntled Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving joining him in Miami, Waiters is open to it. Irving asked Cleveland to trade him last month and the Heat are on his list of preferred landing spots, along with the Knicks, Spurs and Timberwolves.

Waiters played with Irving in Cleveland for two and a half seasons early in their NBA careers.

“It would help. I’m not against that,” Waiters said of a possible move by the Heat to acquire Irving. “Just know, there’s an alpha male over there too in myself. I think that’s the biggest thing with everybody – oh he’s got irrational confidence. Like I tell everybody man, I come from [Philadelphia]. If I can make it from here I can make it anywhere. My Mom got shot. My Dad got shot. Come on bro, ain’t nothing I ain’t ever seen. Why not? I need that confidence every day to get through. It’s got nothing to do with ball. It’s who I am. It was instilled in me. Just know there’s an alpha male over there already. [Irving] can come down and we can boogie together.”

And Waiters isn’t the only player on Miami’s roster who considers himself an alpha male. With players like James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic, there are at least a few others.

“We talk, we have talks. I’d be lying if I said I’m surprised,” Waiters said of Irving’s request to be traded from Cleveland. “At the end of the day, I knew what’s up. I respect him. He won one. It’s time for him to go take on a bigger role, be that leader, be that guy. He wants to be that guy, I guess. There’s nothing wrong with that. I ride with that. I respect that decision. He knows what it takes to win. He learned all that from Bron from playing with him for four years. He knows what it takes.”

[Kelly Olynyk is getting to know Hassan Whiteside off the court, excited to team up with him on the court]

[Kelly Olynyk’s separation from Boston begins with garage sale, continues at Heat camp]

[Want more Heat news sent directly to your Facebook feed? Make sure to like our Heat Facebook page]

Reader Comments 0

0 comments