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Interview with Von Wafer of the Colorado 14ers
by: Richard Walker
December 21, 2006
Originally drafted out of Florida St. by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 39th pick in the second round of the 2005 NBA draft, Von Wafer now shows off his impressive athleticism and deadly shooting nightly for the NBDLís Colorado 14ers. Shooting 52% from behind the arc, and 4th in the D-League in scoring, Von talked with me after his game in Los Angeles against his former NBA teamís affiliate squad, the LA D-Fenders.

Richard Walker: You had a pretty good game today: 29 points, 5 of 7 from three.

Von Wafer: I just wanted to come out and have a good game and help my team win. I didnít play in the first half like I wanted to, but I just came back [to the locker room at half time], calmed myself down and prayed a little bit, and came back out and did all right.

Richard Walker: Youíve always been prone to getting hot, the occasional streak here and there, is consistency something youíre working on here in the NBDL?

Von Wafer: Oh yeah, most definitely. You have to be consistent. Try and do the same things every day, the same routine, and hopefully the results will show that.

Richard Walker: You mind if I jump back a little to the Lakers?

Von Wafer: Oh sure.

Richard Walker: Coming out of Florida St. did you have any feedback? I know you worked out with the Suns and the Lakers, but did you know you were going to get drafted by the Lakers in the second round?

Von Wafer: Yeah, I was pretty sure I was going to get drafted by the Lakers, but I also thought I was going to get drafted by the Suns. Back at Florida St. they called like 10, 20 times that day of the draft, so I was thinking I was going 21, but I ended up with the Lakers.

Richard Walker: During training camp, you were injured a bit [with a bruised heel], you didnít really get any playing time, what was that experience like at the end there?

Von Wafer: It was a terrible experience because I just wanted a chance to play. All I asked was for a chance to play, and if I got out there and didnít do anything, or have [positive] results, then I would have been fine. But I was a little upset because I didnít get a chance to play. But thatís how it is. And then when I was getting ready to get a chance to play, I got hurt.

Richard Walker: I imagine the transition is a little tough from the NBA to the NBDL. Whatís that been like so far?

Von Wafer: I kind of like playing. I just want to play. I mean, I want to be in the NBA, but Iím fine here. Iím getting better. A lot of my weaknesses are being exposed. I need to get a lot better defensively, and Iím going to go back and look at the tape and work on that.

Richard Walker: I watched you in the [2005] summer league and I thought one of your strengths was defense, but it seemed like you let that go a little bit.

Von Wafer: Yeah, I definitely need to go back and get some things tuned up Ė like moving my feet. I need to stop doing so many offensive drills before and after practice and start doing some defensive drills. Iím going to start doing that.

Richard Walker: Do you get any feedback from NBA personnel on what you need to do to get back to that level?

Von Wafer: No, actually I havenít. Iím just going to keep working hard. Hopefully Iím doing some of the right things. I know I need a lot of improvement, and I love criticism. That means people are watching when they criticize you. But I havenít gotten any feedback.

Richard Walker: It seems like your coach is really enthusiastic. He seems like a good guy.

Von Wafer: I love playing for coach Wolf. As long as you play hard, and play unselfishly, he lets you do whatever you want out there. He lets you be the player you are. He doesnít try to make you into this or that. He just lets you play. I couldnít ask for anything better than that.

Richard Walker: Are you feeling good about not being in the triangle offense anymore?

Von Wafer: I kind of got used to the triangle. I know how to be effective in it, but it is what it is.

Richard Walker: Itís about minutes?

Von Wafer: Yes, itís about minutes.

Richard Walker: If you could do the NBA thing over again, what would you do differently?

Von Wafer: I wouldnít do anything differently. I played hard. I worked extremely hard this summer. I feel like I played good in training camp. I learned the triangle. I did everything they asked me. There was nothing much I could do. They just cut me.

Richard Walker: Thanks a lot, you played great tonight.

Von Wafer: Thank you.
 


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