Dion Waiters' Miami Heat career unraveled pretty quickly earlier this season. He was suspended multiple times, and ended up playing just three games before he was released by the team in February. Though he eventually signed with the Los Angeles Lakers during buyout season, he never got a chance to play for them before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus.
Now, he has opened up on what went wrong in his final months in Miami, including the infamous marijuana gummies incident on a team flight. Back in November, Waitershad a panic attack on the Heat's flight to Los Angeles, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
While Waiters didn't get too far into the details, he did admit it was an "idiotic" mistake, but claimed he never had a seizure or any serious medical episode. Via The Players' Tribune:
"The plane incident in Miami? It's on me. I own that. It was idiotic on my behalf — point-blank, period. What's crazy is, my whole life I been a leader. I'm not a follower. Pat [Riley] knows me. He knows I don't do drugs. But sometimes when you're going through dark times, you can fall trap to things you'd never do in your right mind."
I never had a seizure, though. Ask the doctors. Ask my Heat teammates. They can speak on it. For that b.s. to come out, it ain't right. I made a mistake, but for someone to leak that, and for my family to hear it? Shit. It ain't right.
Obviously it goes without saying that players shouldn't be eating THC gummies on a team flight, let alone enough to prompt a panic attack and require medical attention when it lands. In the grand scheme of things it's really not that big of a deal, and Waiters owned up to the mistake, but it's also easy to see why the Heat weren't willing to deal with that kind of stuff anymore.
Waiters also has a good point about the ethics of reporting players' medical issues. He mentions his family reading things that ended up not being true. But even if they were, it has to be scary to read something on social media or see something on TV about your family member being in trouble before you can hear from them personally.
The good news is that overall Waiters seems to be in a better place than he was early in the season with the Heat, and if play does resume, he'll have a chance to compete for a title with the Lakers.