By Jessica Camerato
BOSTON - The Celtics trimmed their roster Wednesday by waiving training camp invitees Stephane Lasme and Mario West.
Lasme, a University of Massachusetts alum, emerged as a fan favorite during the preseason. The Gabon native had been en route to Russia this summer but returned to the United States in order to maintain his residency and be with his wife and family. After giving up a contract overseas, he earned a spot on the Celtics' preseason roster. Lasme wasted no time, scoring 12 points in his first outing.
Now the forward is focused on staying in the game.
"I'm just going to sit around with the family and see what happens. I'm sure my agent is going to call me with something, and go from there," he told CSNNE.com following the Celtics' game against the New Jersey Nets.
"I feel pretty confident about myself. I talked to a couple of the vets. They reassured me that I deserve to be in the league, that I'm an NBA player. I talked to Doc Rivers. He likes me a lot. We had a long talk in his office. After what he said, I'm pretty confident I'll be somewhere."
Lasme is open to the option of playing for the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics' NBA Development League affiliate. And if he does, there is the chance he could be joined by West.
The Red Claws still have the rights to West, a guard who played the last three years in the Atlanta Hawks organization. In the meantime, West will return home to Georgia and work on improving his offensive game. He sees himself developing into a player like Bruce Bowen or Raja Bell, one who focuses on defense first and then finds his niche offensively.
"I have things I need to work on but I think they were, overall, pleased with the effort I gave," West told CSNNE.com. "I was just grateful for the opportunity, to be honest. Any time you get an opportunity to come in with a championship-caliber team, I took a lot of pride in putting on that jersey and practicing with those guys. I feel like I made life-long brothers in this locker room."
The Celtics roster stands at 16, including the recent addition of Tiny Gallon.
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comJCameratoNBA.