Now that he had his own team to be himself on this season, Dion Waiters showed his stuff.
The gunner with "irrational confidence," Waiters found a home with the Miami Heat in South Beach after a few years of struggling to fit in alongside superstars like LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers and then Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
And although the Heat fell one night short of making an improbable run to the playoffs, it's clear the 2016-17 season was the one when Waiters arrived as a player.
Waiters penned a perfect piece which displayed who he is the The Players Tribune, a site for athletes to get their message out straight to the fans started by Derek Jeter after the New York Yankees great retired.
(And yes, of course we know it's tough to say exactly how much of this piece was written by Waiters. The pieces on the site are often believed to have ghost writers, or be heavily edited, which is fine.)
The story begins with Waiters in Pat Riley's office as the Heat president tried to woo the gunner to Miami in free agency. Waiters describes the scene as out of the movie "Casino," and describes the offer that Riley made him, which he couldn't refuse.
"We're going to get you in world-class shape," Riley told Waiters. "Not good shape. Not great shape. World-class shape."
Riley then asked Waiters to tell him something he doesn't know about his life.
In the piece, Waiters then details his tough upbringing in South Philadelphia, where his parents were both shot before he turned 12.
He also detailed the close childhood friendship he had with Rhamik, who was shot dead after Waiters left Philly to attend a boarding school during his prep years.
There's also some amazing stories about roller skating parties and also about how Waiters' son, who is 3, is doing well with the ladies in his new surroundings in South Beach.
The best story has to do with Waiters chopping it up this year with Durant, his former teammate in OKC.
After a loss against Durant and Golden State in Oakland, Waiters told his friend that his team is ready to go on a winning streak.
Durant reminded Waiters that the powerful Warriors were due in Miami soon, and Waiters told him they would pull the upset.
A buzzer-beater later and Waiters was right.
His injury helped keep the Heat from making the playoffs, which Waiters insists is a big thing for Durant and the Warriors.
"I know Kev is reading this right now, like, 'Thank God this dude is at home doing articles instead of lurking in the playoffs.
"You don't wanna see us, Kev!"News Now - Sport News