Heat guard Dion Waiters responds to Rudy Gobert’s dirty-play accusation

Two days after being accused of making a dirty play, guard defended himself.

Before Sunday’s game against the , Waiters said there was nothing intentional about a collision with center Friday night. The players crashed into each other when Waiters tried to dive for a loose ball in the third quarter.

“I’ve never been a dirty player in my life,” Waiters said. “I went for the ball. Tell him to get out of his feelings and that’s what it is, just like that.”

Gobert took to Twitter after the game to express his frustration. He tweeted, “Dove for the ball right …” accompanied by video of the play. Gobert left the game briefly with a knee bruise before returning late. On Saturday, it was revealed he sustained a right tibia contusion and is out four to six weeks.

“I didn’t even know that was him,” Waiters said. “I went for the ball, making a basketball play. He [goes] right to social media. I ain’t a social media guy. At the end of the day, that [expletive] don’t matter. Tell him to get out of his feelings. We won, they lost. So what.”

Heat coach said he saw it from both perspectives but didn’t believe Waiters was trying to cause harm. Last season, Gobert dealt with a sprained MCL after bumping knees with forward Luc Richard Mbah A Moute.

“Those are always tough plays when it’s a loose ball,” Spoelstra said. “It’s tough. That’s why we’re first hoping that he’s OK. But our point of emphasis all the time is if you see a loose ball you better put your nose on it. Usually the guys that are reaching for it, two things happen you don’t end up getting in and then secondly you leave yourself a chance of something like that. For us, I can see it both ways, our point in emphasis with Dion is sell out to those loose balls, something he’s improving on.”

Waiters said he would have preferred Gobert discuss the incident in private instead of spreading his opinion on social media.

“I’ve never been a dirty player in my life,” Waiters said. “If he thought it was a dirty play, you come to me as a man and you ask me and I’ll tell him the same [expletive] I’m saying now. I saw it on social media, late, after the win. I’m not a dirty player.”

Haslem basks in UM victory

So far, forward has taken it easy on assistant coach Chris Quinn. Haslem and Quinn had opposite rooting interest for Saturday’s football game between the and .

A Miami native, Haslem grew up a Hurricanes fan while Quinn played basketball at Notre Dame. The Hurricanes won 41-8 to keep alive their hopes of making the College Football Playoff.

“I didn’t get on Quinn as hard as I could,” Haslem said. “We’ve (the Heat) got one game left. We have to take care of business. Depending on how our game goes [Sunday], we’ll see how tough I ride him on the three-hour plane ride home.”

Haslem said the victory was no surprise.

“I figured they’d win,” he said. “I didn’t know how bad it would be. I mean it’s a very important game. A lot of history in that game. I think UM came out and took it personally, which they should have.”

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