If Dion Waiters needed a break after his THC-induced panic attack over the weekend, the Miami Heat have obliged. The team has suspended Waiters without pay for 10 games, saying that his actions on a team charter flight last week were detrimental to the team. It’s the second time this season that Waiters has been suspended.
The trouble for Waiters started Thursday when he missed a game against the Phoenix Suns because of a stomach ache. As the team flew from Phoenix to Los Angeles for a Friday game against the Lakers, Waiters took THC-infused edibles, which are prohibited by league rules, in search of relief for his stomach pain. During the flight, Waiters suffered a panic attack that required medical attention after the plane landed in Los Angeles.
Waiters is reportedly feeling better following his panic attack, which was brought on by eating an edible with which he was unfamiliar. However, it’ll be a little while until he gets back on the court with the Heat suspending him for 10 games.
“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. “There have been a number of instances this season in which Dion has engaged in conduct detrimental to the team.”
Waiters was also suspended for Miami’s season opener because of an ill-advised social media rant that was critical of the team. He’s yet to appear in a game this season and has only been active for two games. In addition to losing 10 games worth of his salary, Waiters will miss out on a $1.2 million bonus for playing in 70 games this season, a milestone he won’t be able to reach because of the suspension.
With his suspension starting with Friday’s game against the Lakers, Waiters will be eligible to return on December 1 when the Heat visit the Brooklyn Nets. Even then, there’s no guarantee Waiters will be back in action. He’s been bumped on the Heat’s depth chart with rookie Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro impressing early in the season. Despite Waiters set to make more than $12 million a year for the next two seasons (minus the pay he’ll miss while suspended), he could find himself riding the Miami bench following his 10-game suspension.