Boston Celtics guard Delonte West and teammate Von Wafer were involved in a physical altercation on Friday, director of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed to the Boston Herald.The two players were guarding each other in a game of three-on-three when West repeatedly fouled Wafer, according to Hoopsworld.com, which first reported the incident. Wafer headed to the locker room but was followed by West, who threw the first punch and the two wrestled, according to the Web site.
The Celtics are gathering information on the situation, but sources told Hoopsworld that they are considering releasing West based on this and other incidents with teammates. Ainge said the team is not planning to cut West, however.
“There was something that happened, and we’re handling it internally,” Ainge said, according to the Herald. “We’re happy with Delonte and Von and how they’ve been playing, and today was unacceptable.”
Doc Rivers will address the media before Friday night’s game against the Knicks.
While Wafer did not directly address the incident, he wrote on his Twitter account: “Today was a test! . . . I am a professional and will continue to conduct myself as one . . . God has a plan for me.”
He later tweeted: “I love my team #we family.”
This is not the first time that West and Wafer have gotten into it. During two-on-two drills a week ago, West went at Wafer aggressively and when Wafer became agitated, West yelled, “Do something about it.”
Ainge, though, said Friday’s incident was being overblown and even denied other altercations, despite reporters being present.
“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.