Taken by itself, yesterday’s confrontation between Von Wafer and Delonte West would mean very little. Just two guys battling with each other, competing hard, talking a little junk. West scored a couple times, posted up with fury, told Wafer, “Do something about it,” and that was that. Jermaine O’Neal and Doogie Howser — umm, I mean Lawrence Frank — stepped in to keep the peace. The crisis was averted with no problems whatsoever. And by crisis, I mean “routine incident that happens in every single pickup game ever played.”
But it was what happened afterward that was odd. First Von Wafer called out ESPN’s Chris Forsberg for making it sound like West had been killing him in the two-on-two game. Umm, okay? Wafer had been scored on twice in a row (there’s video to prove it), and that’s all Forsberg reported. Being concerned with what a reporter writes probably isn’t new — I’m sure a lot of guys read every single headline they get. But an NBA player tweeting about the supposed invalidity of someone’s valid reporting struck me as odd. It was almost as if Wafer felt that his manhood had been threatened because people knew West had scored two points on him in a row.
Newsflash, Von: Nobody cares! What we cared about was the scuffle, which Wafer refused to let die because he wanted to let it be known that yes, he scored on West too. Wafer’s response was almost as if his feud with West was still going on, and he couldn’t let West win on ESPN.com just like he didn’t want to let him win on the court.
Later on, things got even weirder. HoopsWorld’s Alex Kennedy tweeted that West has been in multiple skirmishes with teammates already this season. He also tweeted, “One player said that ‘it’s obvious when [West] hasn’t taken his medicine.’”
Damn. Well that meaningless scuffle suddenly escalated into rumors of a more serious problem, huh? Looking even further into things (and I hate to speculate about who Kennedy’s unnamed sourced might be, but I’m going to anyway), Kennedy has a working relationship with Wafer or someone in Wafer’s close circle. If I’m not mistaken, Kennedy was the first to report the Celtics’ interest in Wafer and also the first to report his signing. Maybe I’m reaching, but wouldn’t it make sense that Wafer is the source, that he’s the one who said, “It’s obvious when [West hasn’t taken his medicine”? Wafer has some type of relationship with Kennedy, and he was the one who had feuded with West earlier in the day and then continued the feud with Chris Forsberg.
I hate to speculate, but something smells fishy here. There’s no need for any Celtic to tell a reporter that West needs to take his medicine. If Wafer leaked that quote, or if someone else did, he betrayed his teammate to the press. If you ask me, that’s a far greater crime than lowering your shoulder or talking junk during a pickup game.