The Miami Heat have suspended guard Dion Waiters 10 games without pay for conduct detrimental to the team after an incident on the team charter on Thursday. It is Waiters’ second suspension of the season.
Waiters experienced a “panic attack” on the team’s flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles after consuming a THC-infused edible, sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Heat declined to comment on the incident Saturday but announced the suspension Sunday.
“We are very disappointed in Dion’s actions this season that include the very scary situation on Thursday night, and grateful that the outcome wasn’t worse,” the Heat said in a statement.
“There have been a number of instances this season in which Dion has engaged in conduct detrimental to the team. … We are proud of how our players have started the season. We expect all of our players, including Dion, to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards, and to show professionalism and respect for their teammates, the team, the fans and the NBA community.”
The suspension began on Friday, the team said. Waiters was listed as out for the game against the Los Angeles Lakers because of illness and did not attend the game.
Waiters missed the game in Phoenix because of a stomach ache and was seeking relief when he took an edible he was unfamiliar with, sources said. League rules prohibit the use of THC, one of the main compounds in cannabis.
The suspension will be costly for Waiters.
The Heat suspended him for their season opener last month, also for conduct detrimental to the team, after he expressed frustration on social media about his role on the team. He has been on the active list for only two of the Heat’s nine games thus far but has yet to dress and sit on the bench for a game.
He also missed time during the preseason for what the team labeled personal reasons.
Waiters will lose out on a $1.2 million contract bonus because of the missed games. He would have needed to play in 70 of Miami’s 73 remaining games to claim the bonus.
Waiters is owed $25 million over this season and next as part of a deal he signed with the Heat in 2017.