Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Big Baby on Knicks: 'Upside is great'
By Jared Zwerling
While reporters were waiting on Ray Allen to emerge from a back area of the visiting locker room -- the last of the Celtics' Big Three to address the media -- most of the players had already cleared out. There was Avery Bradley packing several bags (presumably doing his rookie chores), Nenad Krstic and Sasha Pavlovic having a conversation in their native Serbian language -- and then there was Glen "Big Baby" Davis sitting in the corner with a towel wrapped around his waist and ice on his right knee, taking up basically two lockers with his 6-9, 289-pound frame.
He looked like he was in deep thought, staring out into the open, so I decided to dive into his mind for a minute and ask him some questions about the Knicks.
On the blue and orange: "I think they did a great job, making shots when they needed to. I think they just gotta get big and find a way. I just kind of felt that Carmelo and the team wasn't executing down the stretch when they needed to. But I think they gotta good future and it's a process. You just can't win in one year, especially in half a season. Winning is a journey. A wise man told me, 'If you want to go quick, go by yourself. If you want to ride, you gotta go together.' So it's a long journey, and I think the upside is great. I think they have to be more defensive-minded. Everybody can't score; they gotta get stops. I think they're a great team. I think they have the tools. I think they need a couple more tools just to get to that championship level."
On potentially facing them in the first round of the playoffs: "We're going to see them in the first round [with a surprise look]? They're seventh? Shoot. Philly's ballin'. We just gotta keep winning. We'll keep winning. We're going to be ready."
On what Ronny Turiaf, whom Davis faced during the 2008 Finals, brings to the Knicks (he finished with 11 points and four blocks): "Energy. That's something you need. You need energy out there, especially on a championship team. You need energy, guys that do the little things, guys that block shots, get loose balls, dunk the ball, play defense. I think Turiaf did a great job out there today."
On whether being an offensive-minded team that pushes so much, like the Knicks, forces players to limit the amount of energy they expend on defense: "You've got to play both sides of the floor if you want to win. Point blank."
I was involved in a funny exchange with Davis while he was describing how his team played with better urgency in the second half.
Davis: "I played like po-po in the first half. I think that jambalaya stuff got out of me in the second half and I tried to make some things happen. [The Celtics were in New Orleans on Saturday night to face the Hornets.] I'm never staying over a night in New Orleans ever again [laughs]. I'm sorry, I love New Orleans, boy, but I felt the shrimp pasta, man. Never again.
Me: "Didn't you go to LSU?"
Davis: "I know, right, but I can't live there, man. I promise I love my state, but, god, the food's so good. That's why I'm so big" [laughs].
Me: "Just stay away from the hot dogs here."
Davis: "I didn't eat in New York. I didn't want to eat period after I came from New Orleans" [laughs].