The Miami Heat have suspended guard Dion Waiters for a third time this season, they announced Thursday, this time for “failure to adhere to team policies, violation of team rules and continued insubordination.”
Waiters will have to sit until after a Dec. 23 game against the Utah Jazz. He had already been ruled out for Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers because of illness and will now miss five more games after that. The first game in which he can play is Dec. 27 against the Indiana Pacers.
This latest suspension follows a 10-game ban he received in November for conduct detrimental to the team after an incident on the team charter flight. Sources told ESPN he experienced a “panic attack” after consuming a THC-infused edible.
League rules prohibit the use of THC, one of the main compounds in cannabis.
Waiters was also suspended for the team’s season opener in October for detrimental conduct, although the team never disclosed the nature of his suspension.
In a statement at the time, Heat president Pat Riley said: “There were a number of unacceptable incidents this week, culminating with his unprofessional conduct on the bench last night. As a consequence, I feel we had to suspend him.”
Those previous two suspensions cost Waiters $917,931 in salary. This latest suspension amounts to another $500,690, bringing the total to over $1.4 million off his $12.1 million salary.
Waiters is in the third year of a four-year, $47.3 million contract that had about $5 million more in possible incentives for playing a certain number of games. Waiters has never made more than 46 appearances in a season since coming to Miami. He’s been in only 120 games with the Heat, missing many because of ankle injuries and surgery on his ankle and foot.
Waiters is a career 13.2-point scorer and has averaged 14 points per game while with the Heat.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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