August 02, 2010
Once upon a time, Von Wafer(notes) was the third-best small forward recruit in the United States. He was the star of the top-rated recruiting class in the nation and people were more excited for a man named Von than they have been since "Mike Tyson's Punch-Out" was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Word on Wall Street is that Jim Cramer had rated Wafer a "buy" back in 2003.
Seven years later, things have changed a little bit. After bouncing around the league in his first few seasons, Wafer cut his hair into a Mohawk for his breakout 2008-09 campaign in Houston. Good looks, both literally and metaphorically. But then Wafer headed to Greece for last season where he struggled mightily and failed a physical when the Rockets offered him a contract midway through the season. All was not well in Wafer World.
However, things are trending upwards once again as Wafer is headed back to the NBA, this time as a member of the Boston Celtics. Now that he's returning, he'll do anything to stay. Literally. From Alex Kennedy at HOOPSWORLD:
"I'm just going to go in and try to learn all of the defensive schemes because I know that's going to be big, depending on how much they utilize me. They haven't told me a specific role but I'm willing to do anything they ask of me. If they need a cheerleader, that's fine. If they need a water guy, I'll be getting everybody water. If they need me knocking down open shots, I'll do that too," he said.
Well, that's one way to prove your value. I'm not saying Von Wafer's the missing piece, but the Celtics were just one cheerleader/waterboy hybrid away from winning last season's title. The perimeter scoring and ball-hawking defense will be a fine addition too, but it will surely be overshadowed by Wafer's sideline contributions.