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Heat points to statement as final word on Dion Waiters. What's next?

Anthony Chiang, Miami Herald on

Published in Basketball

MIAMI -- For the most part, the Heat stood by its statement Monday regarding guard Dion Waiters.

Just a day after the Heat announced it has suspended Waiters' for 10 games without pay for conduct detrimental to the team, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and players pointed to the team's statement issued Sunday when asked about Waiters following Monday's practice.

Spoelstra offered no further comment on Waiters' suspension.

"We had a good meeting before practice started," Spoelstra said when asked about blocking out possible distractions entering Tuesday's home game against the Pistons. "Once we got that behind us just for clarification, we were able to just focus on our team and getting better. We had a very good session today."

Waiters' suspension began with Friday's loss to the Lakers at Staples Center, which means it will end with the Heat's home game against the Warriors on Nov. 29. The next game Waiters, 27, will be eligible to play in following the suspension will be the Heat's road matchup against the Nets on Dec. 1.

The 10-game suspension is related to a series of events involving Waiters that began with complaining about playing time in the preseason, continued with social media shots directed at Spoelstra and teammate Tyler Herro and it culminated with an alarming medical situation involving Waiters on the Heat's Thursday night flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles, a source told the Miami Herald.

 

"We are very disappointed in Dion's actions this season that include the very scary situation on Thursday night, and grateful that the outcome wasn't worse," the Heat said in a statement issued Sunday.

"There have been a number of instances this season in which Dion has engaged in conduct detrimental to the team. Accordingly, he will be suspended without pay for 10 games, including the Lakers game last Friday, and will be eligible to return after the Golden State Warriors game on November 29th.

"We are proud of how our players have started the season. We expect all of our players, including Dion, to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards, and to show professionalism and respect for their teammates, the team, the fans and the NBA community."

When asked about Waiters on Monday, longtime Heat captain Udonis Haslem said: "A statement has been made by the organization, so that's what it is. As far as health wise, I'm just glad my guy is OK.

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