Thibodeau learned a lot more about Davis over the summer.
“It’s funny,” Thibodeau said on Friday. “You really don’t know somebody until you’re around them, and you have an opportunity to coach them. So, you can see the talent. That part I knew. But once you’re around him and see how serious he is and what a great teammate he is and just how he carries himself, he was a pleasure to be around.”
Davis may not be such a pleasure come Saturday when he and New Orleans Pelicans face the Bulls. Coming off his summer experience with Team USA, Davis is having an MVP-type season, averaging 24.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks.
“He's something,” Thibodeau said. “I was around him all summer, and I don't know if there's any big that's more talented than him. There's nothing that he can't do. He's got great touch, he can post, put it on the floor. He's got great hands, he's great defensively. He's got the skills of a guard, and the speed and quickness of a guard and obviously the size of a big. So, it's a tough combination.”
Davis, a Chicago native, may have some extra motivation Saturday as it’s his first NBA game back in Chicago. He missed the Pelicans’ past two games in Chicago because of injuries. He did play at the United Center for Team USA over the summer.
Davis played in high school at Perspectives Charter Schools’ Joslin campus, which is about 4.4 miles from the United Center. He was an unknown high school player until he blew up on the club scene prior to his senior season. He became the No. 1 player in his high school class and went on to play at Kentucky for one season.