Doc on Wafer-West fight: 'We'll handle it'
BOSTON -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers confirmed a locker room fight occurred between reserve guards Delonte West and Von Wafer following Friday's morning shootaround, but didn't care to elaborate much on the topic.
"There was as fight and that’s all you need to know," said Rivers. "I'm going to leave it alone. Obviously, I'm not real thrilled that it happened, but we'll handle it."
The two players were guarding each other in a game of three-on-three when West repeatedly fouled Wafer, according to a report on Hoopsworld.com, which first reported the incident. Wafer headed to the locker room in the team's practice facility in Waltham, but was later followed by West, who threw the first punch and the two wrestled, according to the website.
Inside the Celtics' locker room at the TD Garden, players punted on the topic, including Wafer, who held a 90-second briefing with the media in which he six times referred reporters to Rivers and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, all while denying any sort of incident.
"I don’t know what’s going on, you’ll have to talk to Doc and Danny about that," said Wafer. "I don’t even know what’s going on. What happened?"
Wafer, clearly playing coy on the matter, also suggested that he didn't Tweet anything hinting at a possible incident. Wafer, who has previously admitted to Tweeting on the handle @VonWafer13, wrote early Friday afternoon: "Today was a test! ... I am a professional and will continue to conduct myself as one ... God has a plan for me."
The Tweet was deleted later in the afternoon.
West and Wafer got into a dust-up following practice Sunday during a game of two-on-two. Tempers reportedly flared again Friday, leading to the locker room scuffle.
Rivers seemed more upset that the details emerged out of the locker room.
"It should have stayed inside the locker room," said Rivers. "It didn’t and that’s OK. We’re just going to leave it alone."
Pressed on how often these type of fights occur, Rivers admitted they do occur.
"Some are fine and some are not," said Rivers. "I'm not going to say one way or another on this one. Let's just talk about [Friday's opponent] the Knicks. I would prefer that."
As did Wafer, who provided a light moment at the start of his confab, when asked if he could, "get past this."
"Get past the Knicks?" he deadpanned. "Yeah, if we play good, we can beat the Knicks."
(For more on the scuffle, hop HERE.)
One other pregame note: Jermaine O'Neal has been scratched with a sore left knee. Rookie Luke Harangody will be active for his first NBA game in his place. The Celtics will likely have to lean on Harangody and fellow rookie Semih Erden in a thinned frontcourt.
Play Podcast Karl Ravech and Justin Havens put Clayton Kershaw's scoreless innings streak in perspective with Buster Olney and discuss the rash of injuries around MLB. Plus, Derrick Goold on Yadier Molina's injury and Alex Speier on the Red Sox.
Play Podcast Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian discuss the rosters for the Home Run Derby, Jon Lester's future and more. Plus, Indians P Corey Kluber on his All-Star candidacy and Tigers P Joba Chamberlain.