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Seven Reasons Miami Heat Fans Have Fallen in Love With Dion Waiters

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The day was July 26, 2016. The Miami Heat and its fans were still struggling to find their sea legs just a week after Dwyane Wade shockingly left for the Chicago Bulls. The Heat had been frantically filling out it roster using some of the money Wade had just turned down to return to Miami, but the team was still short on playmakers. They needed a guy who wasn't afraid to step into the hole Wade had left at shooting guard.

They needed... Dion Waiters. Wait, what?

The Heat signing Waiters late in free agency was a head-scratcher. He seemed like the most non-Miami Heat player ever. Over six seasons bouncing between Cleveland and Oklahoma, Waiters had earned a reputation as a selfish, shoot-first guard with little discipline. That's why the Heat got Waiters at such a bargain — he was a low-risk, high-reward move.

Fast-forward to March 2017. Consider yourselves rewarded! May the Waiters be with you.

Heat fans love Waiters. One could say Heat fans have fallen in love with him. Here are seven reasons why.

7. Waiters reminds Heat fans of someone they used to know.

At times, it's eerie how similar Waiters' game is to a young Dwyane Wade's. Waiters isn't on that level yet, but it would be insulting to call him a poor man's Dwyane Wade. He's like a Big Lots Wade, not a Dollar Tree Wade. That's not to bash Waiters; those are just the facts. It's actually a compliment. Big Lots has a lot of the same shit Publix has, but way cheaper.

6. Dion Waiters gets buckets.

Who doesn't love buckets? Dion Waiters gets the buckets. Do you fancy yourself a bucket lover? Well, then you're going to love you some Dion Waiters. It's a make-or-miss league, and Waiters does both. Often. But when he's on, he does the make more than the miss. When Waiters is NBA Jam on fire, he's the Oprah of bucket-giving. YOU GET A BUCKET. YOU GET A BUCKET. YOUR FACE GETS A BUCKET. HERE'S A BUCKET FOR THAT ASS.

5. Even when Waiters doesn't get any buckets, he'll keep trying to get buckets.

Maybe Waiters hasn't given you any buckets in a while. That's OK, because he won't stop trying to bring you the buckets. Dion Waiters, as we have established and will dive deeper into later, has supreme confidence in Dion Waiters. Shooters shoot, and Dion Waiters is definitely a shooter who will shoot his shot.

4. Heat fans never envisioned loving Waiters this much.

The Heat fan base still has whiplash from a 180-degree turnaround on Waiters. He came to Miami known as a nonconforming wild horse who couldn't possibly fit into the Heat's culture. Fans were so ready to despise him as the scapegoat for a lost season. Now he's suddenly many fans' favorite player. What a time to be alive.

3. Dion Waiters might be the most confident player the Heat has ever had.

Putting Waiters in the most-confident-Heat-player-ever conversation is saying something. LeBron James? Tim Hardaway? Shaquille O'Neal? Dwyane Wade? Mario Chalmers?! Waiters might top them all in the personal-confidence department.

2. His clutch gene is on point.

When Wade left for Chicago, one of the biggest questions about the new-look Heat was who would step up in the last seconds of a game to take the shot with the game on the line. We quickly figured out the answer to that question. In back-to-back January games, Waiters drained buzzer-beating threes to topple the Warriors and the Nets. That's seriously clutch.

1. He gives himself the absolute worst nicknames.

How can you not love a guy who takes the names of two of the top three shooting guards in the history of the NBA and decides all of his friends need to call him that? It's just un-American to hate on that sort of bravado. If Dion Waiters keeps this up, one side of the American Airlines arena will chant "Kobe!" followed by the other side chanting "Wade!" Heat fans will call him anything — Santa, Mickey Mouse, Daddy — as long as he keeps up his recent play.

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