Should Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters have had ankle surgery?

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 17: Dion Waiters
MIAMI, FL - MARCH 17: Dion Waiters /

Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters chose not to have ankle surgery this offseason, instead moving forward with different treatment.

Dion Waiters lives and breathes the game.

It’s been that way since before the ninth grade, when the Philadelphia-native proudly let his new high-school teammates know he was already committed to Syracuse University.

He tried to ball out in Cleveland, despite feeling as though the Cavaliers were holding him back. And wanted to make a name for himself with the Oklahoma City Thunder, cut short by a decision not to re-sign to a second contract.

So obviously, now that he has found a long-term home with the Miami Heat, the guard will do whatever it takes to play.

Even if that means forgoing surgery.

Last March, Waiters sprained his ankle in a matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves. After driving down the lane and going up for a layup, the 25-year-old drew contact, ultimately causing him to come down on the foot of Andrew Wiggins. He was carried to the locker room shortly thereafter, and that would be the last time he stepped on the court in 2016-17.

But now, No. 11 is back in action. Thanks to the fact that he turned down a procedure.

"“I’m not a big fan of surgery so I try to avoid surgery. I didn’t want to be out eight to 10 months. I asked for another solution, what’s another way we can go about it? We went that route, just getting it stronger, keep getting treatments every day, all day. That’s all I really do.”"

Missing eight to 10 months would have certainly made things harder for the Heat, putting his return as late as January, depending on the timetable.

But one has to wonder how effective Waiters will be, moving forward. After all, he’s still experiencing both discomfort and swelling.

"“I only know how to go one way though, that’s go hard. You just got to be smart in certain situations and hopefully it will start feeling better. It’s already feeling better. I’ll get four or five treatments every day. Some days you’re going to feel great, some days it might just be one of them days.”"

Here’s hoping for fewer and fewer of the bad days.

Regardless, the budding star participated in both the team’s scrimmage and their preseason debut, his dedication to success brightly shining through.

On Saturday, he finished the Red, White & Pink scrimmage with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, while also grabbing two rebounds and dishing out five assists. As for Miami’s win over the Atlanta Hawks, he totaled 7 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists.

For now, it’s hard to tell if Waiters made the right decision in declining surgery. But there’s definitely something to be said about a guy doing anything he can to be out there with his squad.

Next: Miami Heat: 4 takeaways from the team's first preseason game

It’s time for another year of Miami Heat Basketball, with plenty of Dion Waiters Philly Cheese Swag to go around.