Dion Waiters has been limited to 47 games over the last two seasons, including just three games this season. While some of the games he missed were as result of the Miami Heat suspending him for a series of off-court mishaps, a majority of his absences were caused by a foot injury he suffered in 2017.
Waiters played through the injury for most of the 2017-18 season, but in January of 2018, he finally opted to undergo season-ending ankle surgery. It took a year for Waiters to return the court, and when he did, he was heavily scrutinized for the weight he gained during his rehab.
Waiters talked about his injury and how he dealt with the criticism he got in an article he wrote for the The Players’ Tribune on Monday:
Facts: I played a year and a half on a broken foot, and you ain’t hear me crying. It was surgery or insoles, man. I picked the insoles because I was trying to get us to the playoffs. We knew what it was. I sacrificed my body for the Miami Heat, and I’d do it again. Hell yeah, I’d do it again. But my body just broke down to the point where I could only do so much in a day. Then I couldn’t keep the weight off no matter how much I tried. And then we all know what comes after that: “Dion’s fat. Dion’s out of shape. Dion don’t care.”
Waiters has worked to get himself back into game shape in the year that has passed, but he wanted to let everyone know that a few extra pounds didn’t stop him getting by some of the world’s best players:
Anyway, even when I was fat, I was still getting B U C K E T S, you feel me?
That quote is an all-timer.
Whether or not the Lakers knew how long Waiters played on his injured foot, they were mindful of his injury history when they signed him, and they planned on getting him reps in the G League before he got his minutes with the parent team. Now, Waiters’ teammates will be in roughly the same boat he is after not playing basketball for almost two months.
Hopefully the NBA gives the teams that are going to finish out the season a reasonable amount of time to get back into the swing of things. Otherwise, we could be in for the most interesting postseason of all time.