I had a chance to catch up with Dion Waiters following the Cavs’ 69-58 win over the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday night in the Las Vegas Summer League. We talked about taking his game up in the fourth quarter, his off-season workout and talking with the refs.
CtB: In the fourth quarter, you really took up your aggressiveness. How important was it for you to take control of the game, get those shots to start falling and to get a win?
Waiters: I’m really just trying to get my legs back. I’m trying to go so hard just to get back into playing rhythm. I’ve been working out, but there’s a difference from running up and down. That’s why I’m out here. I just wanted to be aggressive in the fourth. I had some good looks. I was shortening my shot, not following through… off-balance. So, I told myself I gotta be aggressive. If my shots aren’t falling, I gotta get to the rack.
CtB: What’s your off-season workout? What have you been doing?
(At this point, we picked up some video of the conversation. It follows — and a transcript of those Qs and As follows that.)
Waiters: Everything, man. Riding bikes for 50 miles. Weight room. Gym two, three times a day. I’m just working, man. Swimming pool. Everything. Everything.
CtB: I saw a little conversation between you and the refs, especially early on in the game. What’s a conversation like that go like?
Waiters: Oh, I just told the ref, “Can we play a little bit?” You know, some calls, you’re not going to get those calls in the NBA, so I was trying to tell him that. I don’t know what they called. I think they called, like, 60 calls today. Man, it was crazy. Every time you tried to get into a rhythm, you hear a whistle. But, you know… They’re doing their job, I guess.
The next day, following the Cavs’ 62-66 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, I found Waiters again. This time, I wanted to talk about the smack-down he put on an Austin Rivers shot attempt in the third quarter. I talk more about the block in the recap and here’s what Waiters had to say:
CtB: You had one play that really stood out. It was that really demonstrative, big block on Austin Rivers. How much do you enjoy bringing that swagger, that on-court talking to the game.
Waiters: I do, man. I do. That’s what the game is about. Having fun. Being competitive.
CtB: Get inside your opponents head a little bit?
Waiters: Yeah, just a little bit. It ain’t like that, though. [It’s just fun.] It is what it is.