Heat’s Dion Waiters says he’s not a dirty player. Tells Utah’s Rudy Gobert, ‘Come to me as a man’

Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters (11) shoots against Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) in the second half during of the Heat’s victory Friday in Utah. . (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

DETROIT – Heat guard Dion Waiters has a message for Jazz center Rudy Gobert.

“Tell him to get out of his feelings.” Waiters way of saying, “Get over it.”

Gobert was not happy about a play in the third quarter of Miami’s win at Utah Friday in which Waiters hit the floor for a loose ball and appeared to roll into Gobert’s right knee. He replied to a video of the play that was posted on social media with the snarky comment: ‘Dove for the ball right. …” Gobert will miss four to six weeks with a bone bruise according to the Vertical.

Waiters was not happy with the accusation.

“I’ve never been a dirty player in my life,” Waiters said today before the Heat’s final game of their six-game road trip in Detroit and before learning Gobert would miss at least a month.  “I went for the ball. Tell him to get out of his feelings.

“I didn’t even know that was him. I went for the ball, making a basketball play. He goes right to social media. I ain’t a social media guy. At the end of the day, that (expletive) don’t matter. …  If he thought it was a dirty play, you come to me as a man and you ask me and I’ll tell him the same (expletive) I’m saying now. I saw it on social media, late, after the win. I’m not a dirty player.”

Gobert went to the locker room after the Waiters play but returned in the fourth quarter. He then missed Saturday’s game against the Nets with what the Jazz said was a right knee contusion.  The bone bruise was reported Sunday.

“I think it was a dirty play,” Gobert told the Desert News. “He just dove right into my knee. Kind of like the same thing that happened before on my MCL so my knee just went inside and kind of popped inside and back out.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called it an ‘awkward’ play and said the Heat are trying to get Waiters to be more aggressive when he sees a loose ball.

“Those are always tough plays when it’s a loose ball,” he said. “It’s tough. That’s why we’re first hoping that he’s OK. But our point of emphasis all the time is if you see a loose ball you better put your nose on it. Usually the guys that are reaching for it, two things happen. … you don’t end up getting it and then secondly you leave yourself a chance of something like that.

“For us, I can see it both ways, our point in emphasis with Dion is sell out to those loose balls, something he’s improving on. He was a little hesitant going for it and then it became an awkward one. I just want him going for it. Putting his nose on two or three more of those a game. … I want him getting better at digging up loose balls, loose change.”

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Not among top 5 centers; Miami Heat’s Hassan Whiteside using snub as motivation

MIAMI – Hassan Whiteside believes he is one of the top centers in the NBA. And why not considering in consecutive seasons he led the league in blocks with 3.7 per game (2015-16) and rebounding with 14.1 per game (last season).

But others aren’t so sure. In fact, one outlet doesn’t have Whiteside listed among the top 5 centers in the league. And yet, there is some good news with the rankings.

Heat center Hassan Whiteside goes up for a shot against Atlanta Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon during Sunday’s preseason game in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Whiteside is listed as the sixth-best center in the NBA according to Hoops Hype behind Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Denver’s Nikola Jokic, New Orleans’ DeMarcus Cousins, Utah’s Rudy Gobert and Memphis’ Marc Gasol.

Yet, among those listed, only Whiteside was in the top 3 in rebounding, scoring (17.9), field goal percentage (.557) and blocked shots (2.1).

But what do the top five have in common? All are from the Western Conference.

By these rankings, Whiteside is the top center in the East and would be ticketed for his first All-Star game.

Whiteside was asked if he uses those rankings for motivation.

“Of course,” said the 28-year-old. “People have been telling me all my life I can’t play in the NBA. Then they tell me I’ll never play on the Heat and get minutes. It’s always some people saying things negative. I try to use it as motivation and get better.”

Whiteside has had a steady, yet quiet preseason, one in which point guard Goran Dragic says he is really applying his stamp to the team.

“He was dunking the ball, dunking over people,” Dragic said about training camp. “You can see he’s really embraced him his role, he’s really the force of this team.”

Whiteside played 19 minutes in the Heat’s preseason opener Sunday with eight points, 11 rebounds and a block in the win over Atlanta.

“You look at their numbers and you look at your own numbers,” he said about his competition. “You look at what you do on the court and you look at what they do on the court. And then you look at how good they make their team. Are you on a winning team or are you the only one out there shooting 25, 30 shots a game.”

[Miami Heat’s Justise Winslow working hard to improve his outside shot: ‘It’s a huge priority for me’]

[Udonis Haslem excited to watch Derek Jeter lead Marlins, but wants Giancarlo Stanton to stay in Miami]

[Mailbag: Does starting Rodney McGruder make sense for the Heat?]

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UPDATE: Gordon Hayward’s Free Agency Tour ends Monday; Heat, Celtics, Jazz await decision


All that’s left for Gordon Hayward is The Decision. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

ORLANDO – Free agent Gordon Hayward had his final meeting Monday, sitting down with officials from the only team he has played for during his seven-year NBA career.

Hayward met with the Utah Jazz in San Diego for 3.5 hours, according to ESPN,  and left without a decision as to whether he will return to Utah or sign with the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics. Included in the meeting was new point guard Ricky Rubio, who flew in from Spain.

Reports during the day indicated Hayward still laboring over the decision.

Hayward traveled to Miami and Boston during the weekend, but had the Jazz delegation travel to San Diego, where the Haywards have a home.

Most reports have Hayward making his decision Tuesday or Wednesday.

Utah’s pitch was different from those of Pat Riley and the Heat on Saturday and Danny Ainge and the Celtics on Sunday. The Jazz are attempting to retain a player who is very familiar with the organization, the coaches and players and the city.

     Miami and Boston pulled out stops to welcome the 6-foot-8 swingman, who is coming off his first All-Star season, and familiarize him with the organizations and the cities.

Hayward, 27, was greeted with a banner of his likeness as he and his wife, Robyn, drove up to AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. In Boston, they were taken to an empty Fenway Park where they were welcomed on the video screen and shown a video highlighting the franchise’s rich history.

The Jazz sent owner Gail Miller and her family, GM Dennis Lindsey, coach Quin Snyder, team president Steve Starks and a group of players to meet with Hayward in San Diego.

“We feel good because of the city and the organization, the level of the team, Quin, the development staff, Rudy,” Lindsey, referring to center Rudy Gobert, told the Deseret News prior to the meeting.

“We’re quite confident. We’ll see what that means. We’ll find out if that’s overconfident or appropriately placed.”

The Jazz did not have to convince Hayward that they have made significant strides. He has been a big reason the team went from 25 to 38 to 40 to 51 wins the last four years. Utah was fifth in the Western Conference last season and defeated the Clippers in seven games in the first round before being swept by eventual champions Golden State in the conference semifinals.

    Miami and Boston, meanwhile, spent a good portion of their meetings talking to Hayward about how he is a significant missing piece and how he will fit into their structure.

The Celtics attempted to sell Hayward how joining a 53-win team that advanced to the conference finals before losing in five-games to Cleveland could put them over the hump and into the Finals.

The Heat, meanwhile, had to convince Hayward they are more like the team that had the second-best record (30-11) in the league during the second half of the season – better than Boston – and not the one that started 11-30. Miami could also sell Hayward on the fact that he would be the No. 1 option and play with a point guard like Goran Dragic who is more apt to share the ball than Boston’s shoot-first point guard, Isaiah Thomas.

And both teams can gang up on Utah, pointing out how the West, already a much more powerful conference, got much stronger this summer with All-Stars Paul George, Jimmy Butler and Paul Millsap leaving the East either through trades or free agency.

Utah, with Hayward, could be at best No. 5 on paper in the West and even that could be debated. Put Hayward on Boston or Miami and both could have an argument they are No. 2 in the conference, the Celtics’ case being much stronger.

Hayward would be the lone Western Conference star to go to the Eastern Conference this summer if he joins Boston or Miami.

The wooing of Hayward has been played out in social media. Three star players, one from each team, became involved in an emoji war on Twitter over the weekend, each trying to promote his team.

Gobert kicked it off by suggesting the Heat are garbage, the Celtics are a pile of poop and the Jazz win trophies.

Boston’s Thomas countered by pointing out the Jazz have never won a title, the Heat have won three and Boston has 17 championships.

Miami’s Hassan Whiteside then limited that to titles won this century, of which Miami has three, Boston one and the Jazz none.

But emoji wars and fans’ takes on social media will not determine where Hayward signs. What will is everything he and his wife have heard in the last three days and soon they will share that with the rest of us.

[Miami target of a racist and ignorant taunt from Utah, Boston journalists]

[Could a weakened Eastern Conference push Gordon Hayward away from the Jazz?]

[Mailbag: Could the Miami Heat pull off a sign-and-trade if they land Gordon Hayward?]

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NBA says Heat, not Jazz, were victimized by incorrect non-call at end of Thursday’s game


The Jazz have nothing to complain about when it came to the final seconds of Miami's victory Thursday. (AP Photo)
The NBA said the Jazz have nothing to complain about when it came to the final seconds of Miami’s victory Thursday. (AP Photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. – The NBA does not agree with the Utah Jazz.

The league released its Last Two Minute Report on the Heat’s 111-110 victory Thursday over the Jazz and had no issues with the clock management and said the Heat were victimized by a bad non-call in the final second, not the Jazz as the team claimed.

The league found issues with other earlier non-calls that went against each side.

Jazz coach Quin Snyder had to be restrained by his assistants as he chased down official Ed Malloy after Gordon Hayward’s potential game-winner with one second to play bounced off the rim.

The team believed it should have had more than 3.9 seconds on its last possession, which was the time on the clock when Miami lost the ball and Utah called a 20 second time out. Hayward’s shot was rebounded by Utah’s Rudy Gobert, who scored on the put back but after the buzzer sounded. That shot was confirmed by the L2M Report to be late.

The report, though, did not mention an issue with the clock and reviewed three other plays between 3.9 and 2.5 seconds and found no problems.

The Jazz also complained that Utah’s Joe Johnson was fouled by Miami’s Tyler Johnson away from the ball after Hayward released his shot. Not only did the league disagree, they said it was Joe Johnson who held Tyler Johnson.

The league’s explanation: Johnson (UTA) clamp the arm of Johnson (MIA) into his own body during rebounding.

On two earlier incorrect non calls: The review shows Gobert in the paint for longer than three seconds with 1:28 remaining and Heat guard Goran Dragic moved his pivot foot 45.1 seconds to play.

No call was made on either play.

Gobert was the most outspoken in Twitter. He sent out the following tweet following the game:

“It still amazes me that those kind of things happen in the best league in the world…”

The NBA notes it could change its view of any of the calls after further review.


Utah Jazz citing two reasons why they believe the Miami Heat’s victory was tainted


The Utah Jazz, and coach Quin Snyder, believe the the Heat were aided by the officials in the final seconds of Miami's victory Thursday. (AP Photo)
The Utah Jazz, and coach Quin Snyder, believe the the Heat were aided by the officials in the final seconds of Miami’s victory Thursday. (AP Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz are not accepting the Miami Heat beat them fair and square Thursday.

The Jazz found two reasons to dispute the Heat’s 111-110 win that was secured when Gordon Hayward’s 12-foot pull up bounced off the rim.

The team believes it should have had more than 3.9 seconds on its last possession, which was the time on the clock when Miami lost the ball and Utah called a 20 second time out. The timing becomes an issue because Hayward’s shot came with 1.0 second remaining, according to the official stat sheet, and was rebounded by Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who scored on the put back but just after the buzzer.

Also, the Jazz are claiming forward Joe Johnson was fouled away from the ball by Tyler Johnson. They say the contact occurred after Hayward released the shot but before the buzzer, or during that one second window.

Jazz coach Quin Snyder had to be restrained by two assistants as he approached official Ed Malloy following the game.

Snyder, though, was careful with his words when he spoke to local reporters after the game.

“There was a number of things late in the game that were a little bit confusing,” he said. “We got a shot. Rudy got a put back that was after the buzzer.”

Gobert was more critical … not when asked by the media but on Twitter:

“It still amazes me that those kind of things happen in the best league in the world…” he tweeted.

The controversies was not addressed in the Heat locker room because when reports were speaking to coach Erik Spoelstra and the players nobody even knew there was an issue.

According to the official play-by-play, Hayward missed a potential go-ahead three-point shot with 29.9 seconds to play and James Johnson was credited with the rebound with 27.9 seconds remaining. That would mean the possession ends at 3.9 seconds, which is exactly what the clock showed when Utah gained possession and called a 20 second time out.

But, when Miami took a timeout with 13.2 seconds to play, the 24 second clock showed 8.0 seconds remaining. If the possession started at 27.9 seconds the 24 second clock should have read 9.3 seconds when the Heat took the time out, not 8.0 seconds.

Somehow, the Heat lost 1.3 seconds on the possession.

But since a 24 second violation was not called and Goran Dragic was credited with a turnover in the final seconds, that allows the Jazz to complain that more than 3.9 seconds should have been on the clock when they called the time out.

Except for now they are throwing their own timekeeper under the bus.

Malloy was interviewed by a pool reporter following the game and said the officials had no recourse.

“Yeah, we don’t have a trigger that allows us to look to see if a timeout occurs prior to the expiration of a shot clock,” he said.

As for complaining a foul was overlooked that happened away from the ball with less than a second to play. …

Malloy was asked about it but would not answer.

The NBA will review the final seconds in its Last Two Minute Report.

[Wayne Ellington doing unto others as he used to do unto the Miami Heat]

[Could Stephen Curry be in play for the Miami Heat next summer?]