It’s been four years since Von Wafer last played in the NBA, and, from the sound of it, that’s quite long enough for him, thanks.
The 31-year-old shooting guard, a former McDonald’s All-American and second-round draft pick out of Florida State, last saw an NBA court with the Orlando Magic in May of 2012. He’s spent the last four years bouncing around, with stints in China, Russia, Puerto Rico and the D-League, and he’s looking for one more chance to stick in the league … and, evidently, he’s not too proud to beg for it on Twitter:[restrict]
Just showing up and hoping for the best seems like a strategy with a low likelihood of success, but then, we saw it work out for your man Joe Anderson last year. Well, kind of — after standing outside the Houston Texans’ facility in November 2015, the former Chicago Bears wide receiver signed to the New York Jets’ practice squad the following month. (Ex-Division III receiver Abiola Aborishade has been standing outside the New England Patriots’ facility since April to try to make the same come-up, but thus far to no avail.)
Wafer — a 6-foot-5 swingman who played for seven NBA teams over the course of six seasons and only cracked 1,000 minutes played one time, for the 2008-09 Houston Rockets — surely knows his open call will be met with snickers and derision in some quarters. After all, younger players whose resumes don’t include locker-room fist-fights, on-court lowlights and hurled chairs can probably shoot 42 percent from the field and 32 percent from 3-point land for a minimum salary and half the headaches.
But after spending four years abroad, hitting 30 and facing athletic mortality, Wafer claims to be a changed man, one desperate for one last shot at making good on his gifts:
It’ll be interesting to see if any team looking for training camp bodies takes a flyer on Wafer. If nothing else, his naked social-media pleading gotten a bit of attention; maybe that’s just the increase in visibility he needs to re-open the NBA door a crack. From there, it’ll be up to him to back up his words with action. [/restrict]