August 10, 2009
I'm an American. You can't blame me, and you know you're used to it.
We see everything through the prism of our own American experience. That goes for denizens in every country, I'm not going to argue against that, but it's hard to argue that any other country on earth produces more output based around what, exactly, [this] means for America.
And I can't tell you what Von Wafer(notes) will do for Olympiakos next year. I can tell you, however, what a year with that swaggering behemoth of an international club can do for Von Wafer (who has signed with Olympiakos), and the NBA.
It might settle him down, a bit.
There's no point in telling you that a trip overseas will humble Wafer, because he's been pretty humbled for a while. Unable to secure a significant NBA deal despite NBA talent, left to dangle during the offseason. Somewhat ignored by an incumbent team that is desperate to bring back the sort of skill he provides best - solid, and unhurried, scoring.
There's no point, either, in trying to pass off Olympiakos as some sort of slumming exercise. He's not playing for the Birmingham Barons. No, the conditions aren't exactly approximating NBA standards, but he's not exactly going to be shoving little bags of Doritos down his gullet for a pregame meal. Hell, half the Golden State Warriors do that anyway.
What this could do is chill Von Wafer the hell out. He was so desperate to get a consistent NBA gig, that when he received one last season with the Houston Rockets, he pressed. I know I'm watching this through a TV screen, but he pressed in a way that made you think he'd go nuts if everything didn't go perfectly, not in a way that made you think, "contract year, that guy is getting his."
And when things didn't go perfectly, he did go nuts, in a way. Wafer was kicked out of a playoff game against the Lakers last season by coach Rick Adelman, in a dispute over playing time. The Rockets made a bit of noise this summer about bringing him back, but really, that was it.
So, off to Olympiakos. Where he joins Linas Kleiza(notes) among recent NBA transfers, and gets to try that whole "contract year" (no matter the terms) thing all over again. Here's hoping his European turn is a mellow one.