Bittersweet homecoming for Wafer

Bittersweet homecoming for Wafer
March 18, 2011, 11:58 pm
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By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

HOUSTON Von Wafer played with five teams prior to becoming a Boston Celtic this season.

But Houston will always stand out from the others.

And that, maybe more than anything else, makes tonight's game against the Rockets so difficult for Wafer who is out with a right calf injury.

"I can't lie, I had (this) day circled on my calendar," Wafer told CSNNE.com.

Wafer, who hopes to resume practicing with the C's by the end of this month, had his best season as a pro with the Rockets during the 2008-2009 season when he averaged 9.7 points while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 39 percent on 3s.

Instead of sticking with the Rockets, Wafer soon found himself on a basketball odyssey that has taken him across the globe, and ultimately landed him in Boston.

And while he struggled to fit in initially with his new Celtics teammates, Wafer eventually won them over.

"Just worked hard," he said in explaining how the current C's have come to accept him. "I believe in myself and I think these guys like that. They know I'm not scared of any kind of challenge. I believe they respect that. I guess that's how I earned their respect, not backing down."

It was a similar approach he had during his days with the Rockets after he saw limited action with the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers.

While things haven't gone exactly how Wafer had planned, he's not complaining.

Those setbacks have only strengthened his faith in his skills as an NBA player, a skill set that first caught the attention of many when he was a member of the Rockets.

"It's going to be very emotional," Wafer said of tonight's game. "I'm going to be happy. Those people loved me, and I loved them back."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.