The Boston Celtics have waived guard Oliver Lafayette, according to the Boston Herald. Lafayette played in a whopping one game during his time with the C’s, dropping 7 points in 22 minutes against the Milwaukee Bucks. The waiving comes as a surprise, but only because it happened before training camp even starts.
As soon as the Celtics re-signed Nate Robinson and drafted Avery Bradley, the writing was on Lafayette’s wall. And when the Celtics signed Delonte West, they might as well have waived Lafayette on the spot. It would have taken season-ending injuries to at least one (and probably two) guards ahead of him for Lafayette to make the team.
The best memorable part of Lafayette’s time in Boston is this: he had a front-row seat for one of the most unexpected playoff runs in history. He was a part, albeit a small part, of something special enough that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Here’s what I wrote after Lafayette’s final game, a game he didn’t even get the chance to dress for.
While I was sitting with tears in my eyes and my head in my hands, pondering the excruciating loss, I briefly wondered whether it would have been better if the Celtics had just lost to the Cavs in the second round. It wouldn’t have been so painful, ya know?
But it wouldn’t have been so rewarding, either. No matter how badly it stings right now, the Celtics just pieced together one of the most improbable, incredible postseason runs in NBA history. They have nothing to hang their heads about. They lost, yeah, but even the loss was a validation of everything the Celtics stand for. Teamwork. Grit. Lock-down defense. Overcoming setbacks. The C’s won’t be wearing two rings and they won’t come home to a parade, but this playoff stretch again displayed everything I ever loved about this team.
Now it’s over. There’s nothing left but the crying. And as well as the Celtics played, as much joy as the last two months brought me, I can’t delete the fact that the Celtics lost. Tony Allen summed it up perfectly after the game:
“Definitely a tough one to swallow but what I am going to say is, I love this group of guys.”
So do I. That’s why it hurts so bad. That’s why there are still tears in my eyes.
There were tears in my eyes then, but no tears at the news of Lafayette’s departure. I never got the chance to know him. How could I be upset that he’s leaving?