Monday, January 25, 2010
Pregame notes: Celtics vs. Clippers
By Chris Forsberg
BOSTON -- Some news and notes collected before the Boston Celtics hosted the Los Angeles Clippers at TD Garden:
"Big Baby" out, "Uno Uno" in
Declaring himself fit for a change, Celtics forward Glen Davis declared before Monday's game that he's dropping the "Big Baby" moniker and searching for a new nickname. When a reporter suggested the Ochocinco-like "Uno Uno" to match Davis' No. 11 jersey, he instantly fell in love with it.
"'Uno Uno!'" Davis erupted in delight. "I like that, I like that. I'll be 'Uno Uno,' that's my new name."
Davis, whose maturity has been questioned through a series of events over the past year-plus, including an offcourt fight that left him with a fractured right thumb and forced him to miss the first 27 games of the 2009-10 season, and last week's incident in Detroit, which led to him being fined $25,000 for shouting an obscene phrase, hopes to distance himself from those events as he takes the next step in his maturation.
"I've been called 'Big Baby' all through my life," said Davis. "But I'm going through changes. I'm in a cocoon and I'm coming out a different player, a different person. Basically, the new person is growth. I'm shedding that 'Big Baby' and you can see something else, not the past."
Reflecting on the hefty fine leveled last week by the NBA, Davis again apologized and was effusive in his praise of the Celtics organization for hanging with him through his troubles. But, while noting it's all about the future, he suggested fans send new nickname suggestions to his Twitter page (@GlenDavisNBA).
But when the Boston Metro's Jeff Howe suggested, "Uno Uno," the competition might have ended before it started.
When Celtics coach Doc Rivers was informed of the nickname swap a short time later, he rolled his eyes and initially said, "Oh Lord, no comment." Informed the impetus was Davis trying to change his reputation, Rivers added, "Actions change your image most of the time, but we'll see. That's good though. It's a start, right?"
Rivers then reaffirmed his support for Davis, noting that, above all, he's a good person and simply gets caught up in the moment.
"We all learn from our mistakes, at least I hope we learn from them, and I think he can," said Rivers. "Usually his mistakes come from emotions. You hope he matures, learns from that. His mistakes are nothing calculated, they rarely are. It's all emotional."
Who dat? Davis excited for Saints
After all the nickname and maturity talk, Davis took a moment to celebrate his New Orleans Saints heading to Super Bowl XLIV.
"I felt like I was on Bourbon Street [Sunday night]," said Davis, a native of Baton Rouge, and an LSU product, after watching the Saints top the Vikings in overtime Sunday. "I was dancing around at home."
Informed that Rivers had mentioned on Sunday afternoon that Davis was simply a bandwagon fan, Davis scoffed at the notion and declared himself a true Saints fan.
Davis plans on rushing home following a Super Bowl Sunday matchup against the Orlando Magic to watch the Saints play the Colts. When it was suggested he could always fake an injury to ensure he didn't miss a moment of the action, the already-more-mature Davis scoffed again.
"Oh, no, no," he said. "I've already missed 27 games. I'm not missing any more games."
More fun and games
The Celtics kept it light before Monday's game. Kevin Garnett playfully teased Rasheed Wallace as he walked through the Celtics' locker room about 90 minutes before tip-off. Once he exited through a side door, Wallace stood up and declared, "Put this in the paper, Kevin's about to be out a couple of months."
Wallace then followed behind Garnett, and shouted a playful tirade as if he was attacking Garnett as the door closed behind them.
Rivers said the Celtics will find out more about the health of both Brian Scalabrine (sprain in right shoulder) and Marquis Daniels (left thumb) Tuesday. He even expressed optimism that Daniels could squeeze in one game before the All-Star break, depending on how his recovery proceeds.
"We're hoping for the first game after the All-Star break, but there's a slight chance he may be able to play by the New Orleans game [on Feb. 10]," said Rivers. "That would be a huge benefit for him. He'd get one game in before [a six-day break]. We come out of the break on the West Coast, so we want to come out sharp."
Guard J.R. Giddens, on assignment with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League, suffered a left knee injury in a win over Bakersfield Sunday in California. Giddens played just seven minutes after suffering the injury. The Red Claws can't comment on injuries to NBA players, but the Celtics said Giddens will undergo an MRI (likely in Utah, where the Red Claws play Monday) and his status will be relayed home.