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It's the Hard Pinnock Life (For Von Too)

And then there were 16. The roster dwindled down today with an announcement that J.R. Pinnock and Von Wafer have been waived. A little ironic, considering they represented two of the scarce healthy bodies available — I think the Lakers now sport a three-man rotation — but you didn't have to be Nostradamus to see this turn of events coming.

Pinnock definitely has the athletic ability, but just didn't seem ready to play at this level. Whenever he got into games, you could see flashes, but it mostly felt like he pressing while desperately trying to make an impression. That's never the ideal approach. I imagine his decision to leave early was prompted in part by the desire to provide for his two kids, but all things being equal, he'd have been a lot better off spending another year at GWU. Pinnock told me after a Summer League game that he was prepared for the possibility of playing overseas, so unless he lands on another NBA (or NBDL) roster, he'll likely be updating a passport. I wish Pinnock the best, because he seems like a nice guy and a hard worker.

As for K Brothers fave Von Wafer, it's certainly something of a sad day. Ain't often you find a player that makes Kobe look absolutely terrified to shoot by comparison, that doesn't let a little thing like only hitting 16% of said shots discourage him. A guy that lived — I mean, lived — to huck it. From anywhere. Three point line. Half court line. The Pantry, two blocks north of Staples on Figueroa. Throw in the oft inexplicably bad decisions — it's hard to say for sure in SPL play because there are no replays, but I could swear he once turned the ball over trying to call time out — and you got a fourth stringer for the ages.

But as BK rightfully pointed out to me a couple days ago, now that Von was trying to play "the right way" — under (relative) control, taking (relatively) sensible shots, passing the rock every now and then- he became much less entertaining without the added effect of actually getting better. Maybe BK and I are selfish bastards, but when we latch onto a player as a source of unintentional comedy, backing the guy 100%, we expect him to stay true to himself. Take Slava, a Hall of Fame comedic genius. Dude came into the league taking shots like an alcoholic at an open bar, unable to guard Marge Hearn, and often looking completely unaware of the play being run, but content to assume it was being set up for him to immediately shoot. And he left the league exactly the same player, except wealthier, with a worse back and an apparent penchant for Snickers Bars. But he stayed true to himself. Thus, BK and I still miss Slava. Will we miss Von? Perhaps, but only because we'll insist on remembering him in his prime. And with that, I'll share my favorite Wafer tale.

Last season, the Laker got blown out 105-79 by the Pacers on the road. And with about 7 seconds left, both team's scrubs were in. Pacers PG Eddie Gill, simply trying to avoid a shot clock violation, went in for a meaningless lay up. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Von comes streaking in, fouling the crap out of Gill while yelling, "Get that %@^& out of here!" so loudly, I heard it while watching on the KCAL telecast. Gill takes his free throws. Lakers inbound and Wafer gets the ball. Most players will simply run the clock down when trailing by 26. Not Von. Our boy sprints up court, parks himself behind the arc, fires a trey...and misses.

I can't even tell you people how angry I was that I accidentally erased the game recording while trying to store it in my TiVo's "Keep until I delete" section.

Good luck to both guys.

AK

 
Comments () | Archives (27)

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Well I hope Pinnock develops into the player I think he can, and eventually end up in purple, and gold. I don't have the same amount of love for Von as AK, and BK but I still wish him luck.

PS: That was a great Von moment

Sorry, its off topic, but Chris Sheridan picks the Lakers to win the division. It's ESPN's preview of the Lakers with all their genius writers.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime?page=dailydime-LALPreview0607

Well, they will miss the new ball boy and water bottle distributor. Von Wafer was given a chance to join the Laker for one year, Pinnock was given a chance to get to preseason only. I'm still curious, what was the objective in trading our 2nd round '07 draft pick when there are more than enough players in the preseason roster especially in the 1 & 2 positions?

I wish Pinnock & Von Wafer the best of luck, just heed that saying for kids: if first you don't suceed, try, try, again. Why not join the D'Fenders?

"They (The Lakers) should be rated higher, but without a stronger point guard, without a different Kwame Brown and without GETTING KG in the offseason, Lakerland will be just what it is: Jack Bauer's world."
SCOOP JACKSOM, on the Lakers and thier chances (He puts em 4th in the DIV and 8th in the CONF.)

Here's the link to see ESPN.COM people's take on the 06-07 LALs

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime?page=dailydime-LALPreview0607

I haven't posted first in a loooonng time haha.

24Tushort08,

Some of those "experts" gave us love, but they'll see just like everybody else that this team is more than a #8 seed. I don't know if we'll win the division, but winning the season series against the Clipppers, and Suns will definitely help.

Out of all the teams, the only one that really worries me is (and I hate to say this) the Spurs. I know we can play with them, but I just hope our guys don't get nervous playing them. I hate the Spurs, but they do have a strong aura about them. I don't think it will intimidate our guys, but they do have to believe we can beat anybody.

Terrible title.

I love the Pantry.

I hope Von Wafer and Pinnock remain D-Fenders.

GO LAKERS!

Is there going to be a game thread?

mike

Intresting how some of the moves are obvious. Will it be Green or McKie, next? Not so obvious.

mike

OK, while I appreciate the news, the Annie reference is a pretty far stretch dontcha think? You could've at least used parenthesis for "(Pin)nock" although i guess it leaves you with improper spelling for "knock" - oh I dunno, let's get this game started already!

Weatherman,

Anybody who follows this blog knows if there's a bad pun title to be had, BK and I will find it. haha

AK

Well, that's how you eventually earn the big bucks right? I don't think they let you be a sportswriter (or any kind of news person for that matter) if you can't come up with ridiculous puns for your article titles.

Keep up the good work!

Weatherman,

Exactly. If I had actually come up with a quality title, I fear the Times would have ripped the blog from us. haha

AK

Good luck to Pinnock (and sure Von too). I wish it could have been different, that we could have given him a chance in the NBDL or something...but roster space and NBDL rules...

In any case, for a dude that was coined, solid...hope him the best overseas...and perhaps one day he can be another Shammond Williams lol.

Absolutely hilarious. The Von Wafer chronicles. This is why I read this blog. Thanks for making me laugh out loud.

Anyone remember the "Give Smush a chance" bandwagon? How many bloggers strong does that have. I know I was on it... Maybe I'm the only one left. So many Farmar fans. Must be harvest time. (haha...ha)

Hey, no matter what the flavor of the minute is on the blog, I'm on the AK/BK bandwagon for sure!

Laker fan 24/7 :0)

Wardmin

Wardmin,

Thanks, man. Glad you enjoyed it. Appreciate the nice words.

AK

My sentiments exactly EdwinG.

AK - can you find out what the purpose was in giving away our 2nd round pick next year (in what is supposed to be a deep draft) to the Mavs and reaching for Pinnock, who was on no-one's radar, when they could have brought him in undrafted?
Someone had a brain fart and I want to see him/her...taken to the restroom :)

From Day One, Eric Pincus was not really sold on Pinnock & Green signings. Of course, everyone in the blog creates their own comedy. However in the preceding thread, He referred to Von Wafer as future Ray Allen and Danilo Pinnock as Dwayne Wade, I find his joke too SARCASTIC and lack of compassion on the day these guys lost their jobs. In the case of Green, it doesn't hurt because he's still with the team. Whether you are writer or a blogger, making fun at other people needs the right timing.

I've gotta tell you, I really appreciate this blog. Being seemingly the only Laker fan in Jazz country, it gets lonely out here. Shortly after we relocated to Utah, I drove up to a fast food window, not thinking anything about wearing my Laker T-shirt. The girl behind the window said, "You're a Laker fan?" I responded in the affirmative. She seemed very agitated, and followed with, "You like Karl Malone?" Again, "Yes." She shook her head and I had the sudden realization she was in charge of my order. "Uh, you're not going to spit in my food, are you?" She didn't respond.

Like I say, it's great being able to trade ideas with real Laker fans. Now let's play some basketball!

--Marty

Bye Bye Von, I hope you can find a job, dont wish unemployment on anyone, but I am so glad you are off my team. Oh yeah.....

I'll miss you, Von. Thanks for the memories.

As for the "wasted" pick, I don't see the real harm. We're talking about second round picks, of which the Lakers have plenty coming up in the next couple years. If you want a guy and think he might be able to help, bring him in and don't risk letting someone else take a look before you do.

Most second rounders don't stick, especially on teams like the Lakers with little space on the roster.

BK

Sorry anyone had to go, but this was very predictable.

As far as 2nd round picks go, wasn't Turiaf a 2nd? You can find quality if you know where to look for it. However, I agree with BK, very few 2nd rounders ever make it past just filling an NBA required roster spot until someone else comes along to keep the seat warm.

Unless the Lakers are willing to eat some salary, Green will be gone before Tuesday

That's hilarious Marty! lol.

AK/BK (or anyone else who may know),

What happens to Pinnock and Von Wafer now? Are they totally done with the Lakers now and can possibly sign with another team?
And the same for Green (when they waive him too in the next few days).
They should definitely get rid of McKie and keep Green, but something is telling me they gonna keep his injury-ridden and injury-prone butt.

Nick Van Exel
Luke Walton, and
Rony/Ronny Turiaf

All 2nd rounders by taken by the Lakers.

mike

Mike T,

True. And so were Paul Rogers, Von Wafer, Sam Jacobsen, Marcus Douthit, John Celestand, and Toby Bailey. And that's just the Lakers' recent 2nd round guys who didn't cut it. Yes, some second rounders do pan out. But if you look at the overall draft as a whole, the large majority don't stick, much less do much of importance.

I agree with BK, using the pick for Pinnock wasn't that big a deal. The Lakers have plenty of picks next season and if they truly wanted to get a look at Pinnock, they needed to trade for him. Otherwise, he might have tried out for (and made) another team. They basically used next year's pick to try and help this year's team. Didn't pan out, but not the end of the world.

AK

Luck walton went in the 2nd round? I guess they don't count cutness when picking......

why dont the lakers just send these guys down th the defenders like a mlb team would. i always thought about sending green wafer nd pinnock to the defendders becase theyre not ready for the nba just yet


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