Miami Heat: Dion Waiters’ humanity highlights the Players’ Tribune piece

Dion Waiters #11 of the Miami Heat in action against the LA Clippers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Dion Waiters #11 of the Miami Heat in action against the LA Clippers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Former Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters recently took to the Players’ Tribune to express himself. His humanity and humility were my biggest takeaways.

The Miami Heat are a team that usually makes the soundest decisions. While that’s not here for us to decide or not, we can at least say that quite a few people questioned one of their more recent decisions beforehand, in its duration, and most certainly after the fact.

This decision was one that saw the Miami Heat hand over a deal for four years and worth $52 million dollars to the enigmatic Dion Waiters. Fast forward three years and that deal is now a void one, as he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies just a few short months ago, before being waived and most recently latching on with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Without even having a chance to suit up in his first official game with the ball club in L.A., the coronavirus pandemic shook the globe like a baby rattle. In that same light, as that pandemic now has us all tucked into our own homes, we have more time for the things that we probably wouldn’t have had time for before it all happened.

That seems to most certainly be the case with Waiters. This would be most indicated by the fact that he recently published a piece in The Players’ Tribune, called “For Me, Depression Is Fake Happiness”. While the piece is actually quite the good read, what we took from it was the humility and mostly, the humanity, exhibited by Waiters himself.

While the piece details several Miami Heat incidents, from the now infamous plane ride to his weight gaining scenarios, no one story or explanation outshone another for me. It was in the totality of the work and through further explanations specifically on the underlying matters that really spoke to me.

Nicely organized into numbered issues or sections, there were four sections towards the top that really stood out to me. These were the sections that really highlighted what was going on with him, how he realized it all, and how he went about adjusting his life so that these issues weren’t issues anymore or at least weren’t as steep of hills to climb. Here they are.

"5. For me, depression is fake happiness. 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.6. Instagram is one big shitshow. It’s a trap. You score 40, you’re a hero. Everybody love you. You score 10, and the hate you get is just … it’s pathetic, bro. Grown-ass men making fake accounts. Taking the time to really do that. Talking shit about another person’s weight. Not knowing what they’re really going through. And for me it’s just like — look at yourself in the mirror, bro. We all human beings, right? I’m trying, you’re trying. We all trying.7. Everybody in the NBA gonna tell you, “I don’t look at the comments. F*** them haters. It don’t affect me.” They lying, though. Period. Courtey of Dion Waiters8. When your mental health is a problem, the solution is right there. You gotta turn to the people who love you. I mean really love you. Not the fake love. I’m talking about FAMILY. Sometimes I’d be lying in bed, feeling like trash. And my daughter Dior runs in, seven o’clock in the morning like, “Daaaaaaddd, get upppppp! Aaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!” Jumping on me, hugging me. And it’s like … damn. I ain’t have that as a kid, you know? That feeling fixes you up for a minute."

He detailed above what his depression looked like, what a lot of people’s depression looks like, and how some of our most common practices in 2020, such as social media, only serve to exacerbate those feelings.

He also spoke to how people think they know what’s going on and what to tell you to feel better, but they don’t, as in reality they are probably dealing with the same things or attempting to remedy those same things in a similar manner as you do.

Lastly and in this specific excerpt, it speaks to how he recognized that only through interaction with those close to you, a realization of what’s happening, what’s important, and how not to feel that way anymore, is the way to truly endure and battle those feelings and depressing states of being.

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It was a really humanizing piece of work. We don’t know how accurate any of these things were as far as explanations, habits, lifestyle, or sequences of events, but his words seemed as if they came from a place of truth or true experiences and that much we can identify with. That is how Dion Waiters’ humanity is the highlight of the Players’ Tribune piece.