Delonte West, Von Wafer fight
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 a fight and that's all you need to know," Rivers said. "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, most 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," Wafer said. "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."
West and Wafer got into a dust-up following practice Sunday during a game of two-on-two. West went at Wafer aggressively and when Wafer became agitated, West yelled, "Do something about it."
Tempers reportedly flared again Friday, leading to the locker room scuffle.
The original report in Hoopsworld cited unidentified sources as saying that the Celtics were considering releasing West due to this incident and other like it.
Ainge said that wasn't accurate.
"I did read that story [from Hoopsworld] and there was a lot of lies in that story," Ainge said, according to the Boston Globe. "Things were twisted. It's not true. We're not releasing Delonte. There have not been any other of these altercations that have happened this year.
"Guys trash talk and that kind of stuff but I'm not aware of any other altercation among any players at all during the course of the year. These things happen. It's not acceptable behavior. We'll just handle it internally and that's it."
The Celtics re-signed West, their former first-round draft pick, this offseason after he had been plagued by off-court issues in recent years. He is suspended for the first 10 games of this season after being found guilty of weapons charges in Maryland.
West has averaged 10 points and 3.7 assists per game in six seasons with the Celtics, SuperSonics and Cavaliers.
Rivers seemed more upset that details of the brawl emerged from the locker room.
"It should have stayed inside the locker room," Rivers said. "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," Rivers said. "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."
Celtics guard Ray Allen said he didn't expect there to be lingering animosity.
"I've seen a lot of fights. You'd be amazed," Allen said. "It doesn't change the dynamics of the team. Sometimes guys are just angry and have a bad day."
Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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