Dion Waiters is Waiting For Next Year

Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

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In his exit interview with the local media on Thursday morning, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters discussed the offseason and what the team’s goals are over the next 12 months.

“I’ve never been to the playoffs,” said Waiters. “I’m very hungry. It’s why I play every game like it’s my last. Hopefully one day—next year. Next year, reaching the playoffs—that should be everyone’s main goal. I already know what it’s like, just by the jersey retirement for [Zydrunas Ilgauskas], how the fans were. So, just imagine the playoffs.

“We all have to come in with one mindset. We can’t worry about individual goals, individual accolades. It has to be a team thing, a team mind set, and everything else will take care of itself. That’s the biggest thing.”

Waiters plans on spending the next several weeks with his son before getting back to the grind. Several players on the Cavaliers—including Waiters, in efforts led by Jarrett Jack—have plans to watch NBA playoff games from the stands over the coming weeks as a means to get a taste for the atmosphere and energy that comes with making the postseason. “I want to see how teams win,” said Waiters.

  • Pat Leonard

    Did anybody else watch the 30 for 30 “Bad Boys” last night? While I was watching it, I couldn’t help but think that the Cavs needed to do what the Pistons did. That’s not to say that they should become thugs and try to hurt opponents, but that they need to band together and learn to accept roles. Isiah Thomas made a good point that he and other players on the team (Vinnie Johnson for example) could have put up big stats and dominated the ball, but they knew it was a league that was built for big guys at the time, so it was smarter to get those guys touches closer to the basket and sacrifice shots. It took them several years to get over the hump and they went to playoff games to watch the teams they wanted to eventually beat as well.

    Seeing the comments above from Waiters, that’s exactly what I was hoping these guys would realize. Waiters seems to get it. Will the other guys? Will they actually improve next year because they are willing to operate as a team all of the time? I sure hope so.

  • Harv 21

    Agree that if anybody can adopt this mindset it’s Dion. I’ve been impressed from the start how willing he is to pass to an open teammate. He might already be a star had he gone to a different org where a better locker room and respected veterans might have squashed his pouting act before it affected floor play.

  • Pat Leonard

    I thought about that too after watching Bad Boys… just how Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer as veteran players and team leaders had set the expectations in the locker room and really forced the young players to adhere. There was nobody in the locker room who could do that for Kyrie, Dion, Tristan, and the rest of the young guys and it seemed like each guy had his own expectations for how he would operate.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    If only it were that easy. I watched most of that 30 for 30 and while the team thing is great that Pistons team was loaded with talent. The Cavaliers aren’t even close, not by a mile, to resembling anything close to those Pistons. Mindset is one thing talent is another. Just look at Dellavadova.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Oh and you forgot to mention those Pistons had a pretty good coach too. Something else lacking with the Cavaliers.

  • Pat Leonard

    You’re just trolling me now, aren’t you? :)

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Nah.

  • Wow

    Are we really comparing the Cavs to the bad boy Detroit teams? The team that everyone was afraid of?

  • RGB
  • TV63

    Yeah I seen it too. I really liked it. No one on here of course is comparing Pistons talent to Cavs talent. People are just trying to make a point on the mind set of the team. How awesome it would be if Cavs could adopt that same mindset. I was intrigued as well. Both Deng and Jack have preached these same things to young Cavs this season. You could see the switch turn on with DIon around early Feb/late Jan.
    There have been rumors floated around that Isiah Thomas could be a candidate for Cavs GM job. It would be interesting to hear his take on this roster and what the next steps would be.
    I watched the Thomas, Jalen Rose , Doug Collins interview afterwards which was pretty good too. Only bad thing was the obnoxious weasel Bill Simmons.

  • Pat Leonard

    I agree with most of your thoughts but I want nothing to do with Isiah Thomas as GM. His time with the Knicks killed that for me.