Heat to Dion Waiters: Time to Shape Up or….

It was the open secret of the Miami Heat season.

The proverbial elephant in the room.

Dion Weighte- (er, Waiters) was overweight.

And the Heat, behind the scenes, weren’t happy about it.

Very not happy about it.

Heat fans, on the other hand, were equal parts amused and annoyed, until Waiters went on a three-point shooting spree to salvage his season somewhat.

This has been going on forever, actually.

Look at the date on this one:

We all know how Pat Riley feels about conditioning. Miami Heat shape. World class shape. He forced Tim Hardaway to meet a certain weight, even after Hardaway was a multi-time All-Star. He briefly banished Antoine Walker and James Posey after the 2006 championship, after Walker promised to keep drinking all offseason and seemed to diligently fulfill his promise. He has nearly killed men in practice; just ask them.

So it was a matter of time before the team snapped. The Heat tried to put on a good face about this, as they typically do, when there’s something they’d like to not make a public issue — particularly when they’re paying a player $52 million guaranteed over four years to overeat and underperform.

For instance…

Recently, roughly two weeks ago, Spoelstra said that Waiters was getting into better condition and that’s why he was playing better. There wasn’t much of the season left.

It is not like Spoelstra to call players out publicly. That’s a Riley thing. That’s what made Friday’s Spoelstra press conference so remarkable. He basically spoke for both of them, with more pointed words for Waiters than anyone else on the roster. Actually, Waiters was the only player targeted with even a tinge of negativity, as Spoelstra waxed poetic about Dwyane Wade, gushed over the Heat’s kids (especially the clearly beloved Bam Adebayo) and even said he believed in Hassan Whiteside.

Waiters?

Well.

Here are some tweets.

And this…

And this was the money quote…

Just in case no one understood…..

“Pat and I are on the same page on this.”

That’s a message they meant to deliver. Together.

This time, there’s no Good Cop.

Just Bad Cop and Worse Cop.

Expect Riley, if he ever speaks to the assembled media again — we’re expecting next week — to deliver it even more sternly. They have two years left on Waiters’ contract and he has been difficult if not impossible to deal. They need to try to make something work.

So it will be interesting to see what happens if he can’t make weight.

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