(not, I should stress, a contemporary photograph of Baron Davis)
And not simply because he has great seats for this sort of thing, either. Baron Davis’ move from the Warriors to the Clippers has been marked by injuries, lots of losing, questions about Boom Dizzle’s fitness, and most recently, verbal abuse (in public) from noted basketball authority Donald Sterling. And in spite of all this, Davis tells Fanhouse’s Chris Thomassen, “I don’t want to leave. I’m here. I came here for a reason.”
“I just look at it like you brought me here and you got to give me an opportunity,” said Davis, who is averaging just 8.8 points and 6.3 assists, the lowest numbers since his rookie season of 1999-2000. He has battled a left knee injury and claims by Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro that he didn’t report to training camp in proper shape.
“This is the first year I’ve been here where we haven’t had any trades,” said Davis, making $13.05 million this season. “The first year (2008-09) they wiped the whole roster clean after seven games (Zach Randolph was the primary piece acquired after the 11th game in a deal in which the Clippers dispatched Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas).
“Now, it looks like we have some stability, it would be great to just be here and now take this unit, if this is the unit that we’re going to have, to take this team into the future for the next 2 ½ years that I’m here, and make this a winning organization,” Davis said. “And I know that I can do that and I will do that now knowing that there’s stability.”
It’s a little hard to reconcile Davis’ complaints about the transient nature of life in the NBA with what his coach continues to insist is, well, a matter of sloth. But as Thomassen points out, an overweight/underachieving Davis would be all but impossible to move, unless it’s a matter onerous contracts being swapped. You don’t have to go very far back in the time machine to recall when Davis was one of the most exciting players in the league — his precipitous slide into a non-entity, while depressing, need not be how the story ends.