Waiters began the 2019-20 NBA season with the Miami Heat but he would be traded and waived after multiple incidents led to suspensions.
The most infamous of those incidents in Miami involved Waiters taking THC gummies while on a team plane and having a panic attack. Upon landing, Waiters needed medical attention and the Heat suspended him for 10 games following the incident.
Now many months removed from the incident, Waiters has opened up about it. With an article in The Players’ Tribune, Waiters took full responsibility and admitted that he was in a dark place at the time:
The plane incident in Miami? It’s on me. I own that. It was idiotic on my behalf — point-blank, period. What’s crazy is, my whole life I been a leader. I’m not a follower. Pat knows me. He knows I don’t do drugs. But sometimes when you’re going through dark times, you can fall trap to things you’d never do in your right mind.
While Waiters understands that he made serious mistakes, one thing he didn’t appreciate was some of the media coverage and particularly, some of the false information that was spread:
I never had a seizure, though. Ask the doctors. Ask my Heat teammates. They can speak on it. For that b.s. to come out, it ain’t right. I made a mistake, but for someone to leak that, and for my family to hear it? Shit. It ain’t right.
Waiters has reason to be upset if things are being falsely reported. It is always important for media outlets to report the truth and when that doesn’t happen, the athletes have a right to call them out for it. Especially in cases like this, it can be difficult for a family to see something of this nature only for it to be untrue.
Nonetheless, Waiters seems to be in a much better space mentally now which is important not just for the Lakers, but most importantly for himself. If he is able to get himself past the issues that plagued him at the outset of this season, he could be a huge addition for the Lakers should this season start back up.