The past few years for Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters have been rough, with ankle trouble leading to surgery and rehabilitation.
After having endured plenty of online insults over his physical fitness, Waiters went on social media late Monday night to show off his new physique and clap back at his detractors.
Waiters injured his ankle in March 2017 and missed the remainder of that season. After rejecting surgery that would have kept him out for an extensive period, he tried to play with the nagging problem through the 2017-18 campaign.
That effort came to an end after just 30 games, when Waiters underwent ankle surgery in January 2018. Despite hopes that he would be ready for training camp for the 2018-19 season, he didn’t make it back on the court until January of this year.
The delay in Waiters’ rehabilitation caused ample criticism directed at him for his apparent weight gain and lack of fitness. Even after he did return to play, he displayed moments of frustration regarding a lack of playing time.
Waiters ended up starting in 28 of the 44 games that he played in during the 2018-19 season, averaging 12.0 points, 2.8 assists, and 2.6 rebounds per game. Those numbers are close to his career averages, though it’s readily apparent that he’s making every effort to boost those numbers this season.
Given the acquisition of Jimmy Butler and a possible deal for Chris Paul, Waiters’ amount of time on the court could again be in question. Even before those situations, the Heat had looked at possibly trading the veteran who is set to begin his eighth season in the NBA.
Whether or not the Heat are successful in fashioning a deal, Waiters is making every effort to either be a solid contributor to the Heat or to show other franchises that he’s ready to play.