Dion Waiters has been enjoying the good life since he signed a four year, $52 million deal with the Miami Heat last month and it hit a crescendo last weekend with his annual summer party in his hometown of Philadelphia.
Waiters’ “Made in Philly” star studded bash, which he’s been throwing since he entered the league, was attended by rapper Meek Mill, a close friend of his, and several NBA players including the Heat’s Tyler Johnson, James Johnson, Okaro White and fellow Philly native Wayne Ellington.
You can see everyone had a good time in the ensuing social media posts and videos below:
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Aside from his party, Waiters, 25, also had plenty to say about his new contract with the Heat, Kyrie Irving’s desire to leave Cleveland and the possibility of that happening with the Heat. As usual, Waiters did it with plenty of his signature Philly Cheese style.
“It would help – I’m not against that,” Waiters told HipHopSince1987 of a possible move by the Heat to acquire Irving, a four-time All-Star whom he played with for two and a half seasons in Cleveland.
“Just know there’s an alpha male over there too in myself.”
Although Irving listed the Heat among four teams he would be interested in being traded to, the Heat has never been considered the frontrunner to land him via trade for various reasons. But it was still interesting to hear Waiters share his thoughts on the possibility and to express the belief he’s an alpha male on this Heat roster.
“I think that’s the biggest thing with everybody – oh he’s got irrational confidence,” Waiters continued. “Like I tell everybody man, I come from here. If I can make it from here I can make it anywhere. My Mom got shot. My Dad got shot. Come on bro, ain’t nothing I ain’t ever seen. Why not? I need that confidence every day to get through. It’s got nothing to do with ball. It’s who I am. It was instilled in me. Just know there's an alpha male over there already. He can come down and we can boogie together.”
Waiters said he wasn’t at all surprised to hear Irving wanted out of Cleveland.
“We talk, we have talks,” Waiters said. “I’d be lying if I said I’m surprised. At the end of the day, I knew what’s up. I respect him. He won one. It’s time for him to go take on a bigger role, be that leader, be that guy. He wants to be that guy I guess. There’s nothing wrong with that. I ride with that. I respect that decision. He knows what it takes to win. He learned all that from Bron, from playing with him for four years. He knows what it takes. That’s how I was. When I played Bron I soaked everything in. I was a sponge. Bron took me under his wing from day one. Every little thing, how to take care of his body, he’s a pro's pro, a true professional.
“When I went to OKC it was even worse with KD and Russ. KD took me right under his wing, everyday we were going at it, things like that. Like I tell everybody I had the best of both worlds. I learned so much. It made me ready for this situation I’m in now. I needed to take steps back. At the end of the day I don’t call them steps back. I was really just [building] step by step. When I got my chance, like I said, no looking back.”
As for his contract, Waiters said he feels blessed, but knows he might have been able to sign something even bigger had he been healthier last season and had the NBA not gone through a rough summer of contracts a year ago.
“At the end of the day when I was on that court I produced,” he said. “[The Heat went] 30-11 in the second half of the season – 23-5 when I was on the court. I wasn’t satisfied at all. For me, it was just a little taste. I’m 25 man. We’re not going nowhere. That’s why I always say ‘Bet on yourself and double down.’
“Even though I know like for real, for real what [my contract is] supposed be, I’m blessed with the situation and I’m going to make the best of that. But at the end of the day we know what's up.”
As for the money itself, Waiters is certainly enjoying it.
“Got to think about it, no [state income] taxes [in Florida],” he said. “You see all that plus bonuses. You’ve just got to really save money. Do the right thing, have fun, but save. I’m 25. I got another [big contract in the future].”