Miami Heat: Dispatch from Waiters Island, week four

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 17: Dion Waiters /

It’s time to bring you another dispatch from Waiters Island.

It’s been two weeks, two long weeks since we’ve revisited Waiters Island.

Since then we’ve managed to clean it up a bit and figure out where everything goes, yet it still ebbs and flows. Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters is at his best driving at the rim and generating contact, creating the kind of chaos that allows Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside to thrive. It’s not 7 3-point attempts per game he’s averaging during our absence, although you have to admire the confidence.

Still, you have to respect the audacity to keep putting it up (like the back-to-back 3’s he made in the face of a Boston Celtics comeback last night). This insistence to keep shooting is indicative of Waiters’ passion, and an often misguided belief that he turns into basketball Jesus every time his Nikes touch the parquette. The kind of passion that may have cost Rudy Gobert a month of basketball. The kind of passion that isn’t deserving of Gobert deciding he’s allowed to run at the mouth.

So let’s examine the situation. Is Waiters dirty?

(Just in case you missed it, here’s the play in question that led to Gobert talking all kinds of spicy on the record.)

Does Waiters dive for the ball? Yes. Does he dive directly into Gobert’s knee? No. Does his body adjust to then eventually take down the French strawman? Debatable (yes, if you’re a Utah Jazz fan though).

Counterpoint: Let me push you down at full speed and see how much control you get to maintain over your body.

You mean to tell me that in the league where private part karate is often considered a casual natural motion, a dive for the ball is malicious? Get out of here. We’ve seen people push each other over for nothing, but this is where Gobert tries to draw the line? I get the frustration (and more importantly I get the reaction), but it’s fabricated.

Fake news.

Still, let’s examine if Dion is dirty, if only to avoid an international conflict with the French.

Is there a history of Waiters diving at players, raising his foot or using any other limb in an unnatural way to inflict bodily harm? No. Is there a history of Dion having irrational self-confidence on each and every possession? Absolutely. Some may even argue it’s earned. Like last night, when he crammed it on the Celtics during a stretch where he got eight points straight for the Heat.

Is there a history of Waiters getting disrespected by his teammates not passing him the ball, or his teams not re-upping on him contractually? Most certainly (Heat excluded, get paid young man).

Is Waiters a dirty player? Heck no. Did numerous culprits throughout the NBA do him dirty? Most certainly.

Next: Miami Heat Roundtable: Discussing the team's rough start and more

Moral of the story? If you think Dion Waiters is a dirty player, you have no place on Waiters Island.