By: Stephen Patterson
There have been reports that Delonte West and Von Wafer were involved in a physical altercation in the locker room following a team practice earlier today. According to a report by Hoopsworld, West was the one that started the altercation, which began with West getting physical with Wafer during a three-on-three game.
Apparently frustrated with West's physical play, Wafer left the scrimmage and headed to the locker room midway through. West followed him to the locker room and threw the first punch as Wafer sat at his locker. Wafer responded by throwing two punches of his own before both men fought to the ground and had to be separated.
West is already serving a 10-game suspension to start the season, and he may be released by the Celtics following this incident before he even gets to play this year. This is West's second tenure with Boston, and it will likely end up with the same disappointing ending as the first go-around.
Luckily for the Celtics, both players are near the bottom of the depth chart at their respective positions, and hopefully the altercation won't have any long-lasting effects on the rest of the team.
The bad news for Boston? If they release West, they lose a fairly young player, and that's something the Celtics may not be able to afford.
That might be a preview of things to come for Boston this season, as they have a fairly old core, surrounded by a few younger players. Rajon Rondo is unquestionably their best player, and he is just now getting into his prime.
However, Boston's two biggest offseason acquisitions, Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal, are both far past their primes. The "Big Three" for the Celtics aren't exactly getting any younger either.
The most obvious sign of that can be observed in watching Kevin Garnett play. He can no longer even finish a dunk if there is someone within 10 feet of him during a game. Almost every big guy on Boston's roster has some kind of history of knee injury or is much closer to retirement than his glory days.
Paul Pierce and Ray Allen still have at least one more productive season in them, but I expect Pierce to begin to decline at a rapid pace in the near future.
With West now possibly out of the picture for the Celtics, there will be even more mileage put on their bodies during the regular season unless someone else can step in and pick up the spare minutes.
If Boston has to play their veteran players for long minutes during the regular season, I can't imagine them having enough left in the tank to even get out of the first round in the postseason unless they have an extremely favorable matchup.
The role players need to stop fighting amongst themselves and focus on winning games and collecting minutes right now so their team can benefit in the playoffs with a healthy, fresh core of veterans.