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NBA / Nov 6, 2012 / 12:00 pm

Humble & Hungry: Dime’s 2012 NBA Rookie Journal With Dion Waiters, Vol. 2

Dion Waiters

Dion Waiters (design. Ryan Hurst)

After an outstanding sophomore season at Syracuse that had many analysts talking about him as one of the best guards in the country, Dion Waiters decided the time was right to test his talents and make the jump to the NBA. The Philly native was a beast as a sixth man, averaging 12.6 points on nearly 48 percent shooting to help lead the Orange to the Elite 8 last season, and after his stock steadily rose during the draft process, Cleveland took him higher than anyone expected. He kept a diary with us throughout the weeks leading up to the NBA Draft, and plans to check in with us often throughout this upcoming season to talk about life as a rookie, the NBA grind, and his favorite things to do off the court…

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It was good just to get out there and play with my teammates during my first NBA game last week. I had waited forever for that moment and most importantly we got the win.

They put me in a lot of screen-n-rolls early at the top of the key in the game against Washington. That’s one of the areas that I excel in. It made it easier for me, and put me in places where I had an opportunity to score and look for my teammates off the pick-n-roll. I missed a couple of shots at the rim or else I would’ve had 25 easy. Shots are going to go and shots are gonna go out. There’s nothing you can do about it.

It’s going to be great playing with Kyrie this year. We can play off each other. In certain situations, we can help each other score just to help the team out. We both can split time as ones and twos. Kyrie expects to play some two guard this year, which means I’ll be at the one. I’ve told you all before we’re like the one-two combo – I can play the point, he can play the two. I’m a two guard obviously, but I can play the point guard as well. We’re going to give them different looks. Plus, with scouting reports, we basically already know going into every game who we are guarding. They try to make everything easy for us in that way so there is no confusion.

And I’m still playing in the Kobes this year. I do a lot of NikeiD stuff in Cleveland colors. I’m actually waiting on them right now to come here.

Training camp was just a lot of running, a lot, a lot of running. We did 50 times more running than I did at Syracuse. In training camp, that’s all we really did was run just to get back in shape. Man, it helped me. On a day-to-day basis, I was always at the training facility, going back at night to play.

As far as rookie pranks, the vets made me get donuts one time, but that was it. All of the rookies pretty much just had to get donuts.

I feel like OKC shocked the whole NBA with the James Harden trade, players and a lot of GMs. Nobody saw that coming. He was able to go to a situation where it worked out for him as you can see when he had 37 and 12. There’s nothing more you can ask for then that.

I think Hurricane Sandy hit Philly pretty hard. Some power and lights went off. They are still going crazy in Philly. It did a little damage. I have a couple of people from my family staying with me out in Cleveland right now. Overall, Philly, Syracuse and Cleveland all pretty much have the same weather. Syracuse and Cleveland probably snow a little bit more than Philly but they’re all cold and pretty much the same in the end.

I still haven’t gone out yet in Cleveland, though. I just go to practice, come home, chill. That’s pretty much it, every day, all day, so I haven’t been out yet. I did go out bowling and played pool a couple of times, but that’s pretty much it. I’m looking for a skating rink out here. Kyrie told me there’s one about 30 minutes from him so I’m probably going to go one day. I don’t know if Kyrie really knows how to skate, like I really know how to skate. He probably can skate a little though.

It’s tough watching the Eagles right now. It’s the defense that’s at the bottom of everything, and they gotta take care of Michael Vick. He can’t get hit so many times like he has. We just gotta play together as a team and finish games out. I think they’re going to make the playoffs. They’re going to get it together.

But how are you gonna blame Mike Vick? I know he had turnovers in certain situations, but he also has been getting knocked down 20 times and the refs are not gonna call it because he’s a running quarterback.

Dion will be checking back in with us throughout the season with everything he’s going through as an NBA rookie so stick with us…

Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.

Follow Dion on Twitter at @dionwaiters3.

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