When Oliver Lafayette was cut by the NBA D-League’s Erie Bayhawks prior to the start of this season, he never would have foreseen where his life would take him. For a guy who couldn’t even make the Bayhawks, ending the season as a Boston Celtic must really be a droplet from above.
But it begs the question: If Lafayette is good enough to get called up to the NBA, then why the hell was he cut?
Sadly, the answer isn’t very easy to find, but it was certainly an odd situation. Lafayette was reportedly one of the Bayhawks’ top two leading scorers during the preseason. He and the other leading scorer, Rod Wilmont, were actually BOTH cut. Beyond that, Lafayette averaged 13.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 3.6 apg with Erie last season. He was clearly one of their most important players, playing 31.3 minutes per game and starting 23 of the team’s 36 games. And then — snip, snip — he was cut.
But the story doesn’t end there. Lafayette was quickly picked up by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. During one meeting against his former team, and the coach (John Treloar) who cut him, Lafayette went bananas. We’re talking scorching hot, call-the-fire-department-this-one’s-out-of-control bananas. He scored 25 points in the first half and didn’t miss a single shot. 9-9 from the floor, 5-5 from downtown. He ended with 32 points, just the way you want to play against the team that cut you. It was a nice little middle finger in the air for his old coach.
“Coach realize I’m a player and a force to be reckoned with,” Lafayette said after the game. Yeah, I think he probably does, Oliver.
Lafayette continued to say he held no grudges against the Bayhawks and just wanted to lead his new team to victory, but he must have, right?
“Just not sticking me in the corner and making me a shooter,” Lafayette spoke about his change from one season to the next, certainly meant as a dig at his old coach. “Fort Wayne gave me an opportunity to mature my game. I know I’ve been had it, but while you’re sitting in the corner, you never can show anybody anything.”
Take that, Coach Treloar.
For Lafayette, getting out of that corner helped him get signed by an NBA team. For Treloar, sticking Lafayette in the corner and later cutting him simply begs the question, “Why?”