A couple of weeks ago, Dion Waiters caused a bit of a stir on Twitter when he responded to a fan who suggested that he might come off of the bench for the Cleveland Cavaliers by saying, "Nooooooooo." (It appears that Waiters has since deleted that tweet.)
Last season, Waiters only started 24 of the 70 games he played in under Mike Brown. So when the Cavs drafted Andrew Wiggins, many fans assumed that he would slide into the starting lineup, and Waiters would become a sixth man who could run the second unit. Waiters, however, has other ideas.
Yesterday, in an interview with Chris Haynes of Comcast Sportsnet Northwest, Waiters said, "I want to start and I believe that I should at the two."
"I just say how I feel," he said. "I'm going to do whatever is best for the team, of course, but at the end of the day, I'm a man and I'm confident in myself. I've always been a guy that gives it right to you. I've never been a guy that plays that political stuff. I was brought up that way. I'm straightforward. I give my honest opinion. I'm not going to sit here and hide. They asked a question and I tell you."
I appreciate that Waiters really does say how he feels. It's what makes him one of the few athletes who is actually interesting to follow on Twitter. There are probably times when he could be a little bit more careful, but for the most part, I hope he never changes. Athletes and celebrities who worry too much about how people will take things are boring. And sports should be fun, not boring.
If David Blatt decides to utilize Waiters in a bench role, he seems willing to accept it, just like he did for most of last season. But I would be surprised if it comes to that. I do think Waiters would fit nicely as the guy running the second unit, but I don't think that Wiggins is ready to start on a team that has championship aspirations. Not yet.
Of course, this entire discussion mostly becomes pointless if Wiggins isn't on the roster when the season starts. But that's a discussion for another post (or likely another 50 posts).