Justise Winslow reveals he drank heavily and passed through women after struggling to stay healthy with Miami Heat

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Back in 2015, the Miami Heat seemingly struck gold when top prospect Justise Winslow fell to them at the No. 10 slot in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Expectations were high for a player that had flourished at Duke University in his lone collegiate season, but injuries plagued him during his time in Miami.

After a decent rookie season during the 2015-16 campaign in which he ended as the team’s starting center in its last playoff game, he tore his labrum in his sophomore season, which hadn’t been going all too well before the injury. That injury began a string of bad luck where he wasn’t able to stay healthy over the next few years.

“I was very selfish; I thought the world was centered around me, especially when basketball was taken away,” Winslow said, according to The Athletic’s Jason Quick. “I didn’t know how to fill myself up. That’s when a lot of the negativity and darkness started to creep in.”

Quick offered some insight into the negativity and darkness that Winslow alluded to.

“He drank heavily,” Quick wrote regarding Winslow. “He passed through women. And confusion and frustration surrounding his parents’ divorce, which had long festered while he focused on his career, came to the surface.”

Winslow was a pretty polarizing player during his time in South Florida. After his injury troubles, many fans stopped believing in his ability to become an impactful player for the Heat. However, there were also plenty of fans that continued to back him no matter what.

He seemed to finally put things together during the 2018-19 season, when he recorded 12.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game while knocking down 43.3 percent of his shots from the field and 37.5 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.

The 26-year-old continued some of that solid play during the start of the 2019-20 season, Jimmy Butler’s first with the Heat, but he was eventually dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of the deal that brought Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill to Miami.

He wasn’t able to stick with the Grizzlies and later signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, who traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers in February of 2022.

The eighth-year pro now seems to have a solidified home with the Blazers, but he’s currently out with an ankle injury that he suffered in late December.

Once he returns, he should regain his place in the rotation for a team that is 21-24 and in 12th place in the Western Conference.

The Heat and Blazers have already faced off twice this season, so the only way they would play each other again would be if they both made it to the NBA Finals.

It’s great that Winslow has seemingly put all of his past troubles behind him. Plenty of Heat fans likely still have a soft spot in their hearts for him and will be rooting for him for the rest of his career.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate with experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.