Unexpected Reunion for Davis and Lafayette
|04.14.10 at 11:44 pm ET|
Glen Davis got a surprise when he arrived at TD Garden on Wednesday.
He entered the locker room and saw his childhood friend, Oliver Lafayette ‘¦ in Celtics warmup gear?
‘I walked in and I was like, ‘What’s up man?! Baton Rouge!” Davis exclaimed.
Davis and Lafayette have known each other since elementary school and played AAU basketball together in Louisiana. Unbeknown to Davis, Lafayette had recently signed with the Celtics. The former D-League standout received the call just two days ago while he was driving to Baton Rogue.
‘My agent called me and told me Danny Ainge had called him. When he called me, I almost ran off the road driving,’ Lafayette said before suiting up for his first Celtics game. ‘I had to pull over for like an hour or two. I had to regroup myself. I called my mother and told her the good news.’
The 25-year-old guard came to the Celtics by way of Brown Mackie (Junior) College, the University of Houston, Erie BayHawks and Fort Wayne Mad Ants. He is thankful for his time in the NBA Development League, where he says the coaches gave him the green light to play ball.
‘My coaches just taught me the game,’ he said. ‘They put the ball in my hand and let me go to work, learn how to read the defense and stuff like that.’
This season Lafayette averaged 17.1 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.0 rebounds in 48 games for the Mad Ants, and ranked 10th in the league in steals. He was named NBDL Co-Performer of the Week after averaging 26.4 points, 8.0 assists, and 6.4 rebounds in his last seven games.
“He’s a scorer,” said Davis. “He’s a scoring point guard. He can play the point, he can play the one, play the two. He’s efficient with his jumpshot, playing defense, he’d be good for our team.”
The rookie made the most of his first opportunity with the Celtics in their 106-95 loss to the Bucks. He scored seven points (3-6 from the field, including 1-of-2 on threes), grabbed four rebounds, and dished two assists in 21 minutes. Davis believes it is time for Lafayette’s hard work to pay off.
‘He’s a great guy, a wonderful player. I think he’s a great player, actually,’ he said. ‘Oliver, I’ve always though of like a late-bloomer as far as his opportunities. He played high school at Capitol High School ‘¦ he went to [junior college], every time it was a late-bloomer. He went to University of Houston, played great over there, and now he’s just finally really getting his opportunity.”
Lafayette’s goal is to play well enough to earn a contract with the Celtics next season. In the meantime, he is trying to digest a whirlwind 48 hours that has taken him from the roads of Louisiana to the Garden parquet.
‘I can’t believe it myself right now,’ he said. ‘This is a great opportunity, great guys, great team, and great players I’ve been looking up to my whole life.”