The No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Waiters opened up about his fight with depression and one stint in Miami that he regrets from his career.
During the 2019-20 season, Waiters appeared in just three games for Miami. He was suspended by the team early on in the season for conduct detrimental to the team after he “experienced a ‘panic attack’ on the team’s charter flight Thursday night after consuming a THC-infused edible.”
The Heat eventually traded Waiters to the Memphis Grizzlies that season in the deal that brought Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala to Miami. Both players were key to the team making the NBA Finals that season.
Memphis waived Waiters shortly after the trade, and the former Heat guard reflected on how he handled that situation now that it is a few years later.
“Yes, that last year with the Miami Heat and just understanding what was going on in that situation,” Waiters said. “I was so irresponsible and immature. I let the Heat down. They were good to me. I did not handle it well at all.
“The things that were going on were avoidable If I had just shut the hell up and let my agent handle a lot of that stuff. And if I did that, we wouldn’t even be here today. I’d still be playing. Everything happens for a reason. I looked myself in the mirror already, bro. I read my rights, I read my wrongs, and now I just got to keep pushing, moving forward and living with the results.”
Waiters clearly wishes he could have his actions from that season back, but the 2019-20 campaign wasn’t all bad for the former No. 4 overall pick.
Waiters ended up latching on with the Los Angeles Lakers later in the 2019-20 season, and the team went on to beat the Heat in the NBA Finals.
Unfortunately for Waiters, that was the last time he was on an NBA team.
The 31-year-old played with the Heat from the 2016-17 season through the start of the 2019-20 campaign. He had some strong seasons in Miami, averaging 15.8 points per game in the 2016-17 season.
Since he’s been out of the NBA for multiple seasons, it may be hard for Waiters to ever get another chance. However, the former All-Rookie selection seems to be at peace with what happened in his career, even though he regrets that final season with Miami.