One of the more notable sections of the article was about the now-infamous “gummy” incident on a team flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles. According to multiple reports, Waiters suffered a panic attack after consuming too much of the THC-infused edible gummies. Waiters was suspended 10 games by the Heat and it was one of the final straws that eventually led to Miami sending him to Memphis via trade.
Waiters reflected on the incident in his Players Tribune article, taking responsibility for the “idiotic” move.
“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,” Waiters wrote. “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.”
Waiters has a young son, who he said puts his name into Google on the regular. He came up with an interesting way of explaining the incident to him.
“I can never lie to my son. He’s six going on damn near 30,” Waiters said. “When I got suspended, he was interrogating me like, ‘Dad, they said you were doing drugs. They said you had a seizure. They said you can’t play no more. What’s going on?’ I had to break it down for him in a way he could understand, like in his little cartoon movies. I said, ‘You know how there’s always a beginning, a middle and an end? In the beginning, it’s all good, right? Spider-Man is doing his thing. He’s discovering his superpowers. He’s chillin’. But in the middle, what happens? The hero always messes up. He gets knocked in the dirt. There’s always a sad part, right? Well, that’s where your dad’s been at. He made a mistake. He lost his superpowers for a minute. But it’s gonna be alright. We’re gonna make it through.'”
One of the details Waiters took exception to was that he suffered a seizure.
“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.”
Dion Waiters on Depression: ‘I Done Been Through It’
Waiters’ piece was part of “24,” a series the The Players’ Tribune describes as athletes honoring the legacy of Kobe Bryant by sharing 24 truths that have shaped their life. The only rule is no bull—-.
Waiters opened up extensively about his struggles with depression, especially over the last few years as his career hit a speed-bump.
“No cap. You know, I think sometimes the world needs to be reminded that we’re not superheroes. I came from the bottom,” Waiters said. “I seen it all. But when I go home at night, I’m just like you. I go through depression, just like you. I go through anxiety, just like you. This last year and a half, I done been through it.
“You lie to yourself. You hide things. You’re saying it’s all good — to your homies, to your family, to yourself. But it’s a lie. You don’t want to touch your phone. You don’t want to read what anybody is saying about you. Your body literally feels different. You’re just not you. Don’t matter how hard you are. Hard got nothing to do with it. You can’t bark back, you feel me? Who you barkin’ at? It’s just you.”
Waiters did bring some light to the article, writing: “Anyway, even when I was fat, I was still getting B-U-C-K-E-T-S, you feel me?”
Waiters Was Pumped to Land With Lakers
Waiters signed with the Lakers just before the NBA season was suspended and didn’t play in a game. However, the move to sign LeBron James’ former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate was a big one, adding another shooter to the team’s bench.
“When my son found out I was going to the Lakers, he went bananas. Buh-nanas, bro,” Waiters said in the article. “He’s known Bron since he was a baby, when we were in Cleveland. That’s his guy.”
Waiters averages 13.2 for his career and was the No. 4 overall pick in 2012 out of Syracuse.