BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics elected not to suspend forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis after an early morning fight with a childhood friend the day before the season opener left him sidelined for at least five weeks with a broken right thumb.
The Celtics did fine Davis an undisclosed amount.
Executive vice president Danny Ainge made the announcement with Davis seated next to him in a press conference Friday before the Celtics' game against the Chicago Bulls, saying the club wanted to keep him around to work out with the team.
"We want him around and he's part of the team," Ainge said. "We have that option to have him around or not have him around, and it's pretty simple. Glen is popular with the team. I think the better chance of him coming back and being healthy is when he's with the team."
In his first meeting with the media since the incident, Davis said he apologized to his teammates and had a lot of growing up to do.
"Basketball is a comfort for me, a joy," said Davis, dressed in a suit with a cast on his right hand. "That's why I'm glad that the owners and the organization and the team have welcomed me with open arms to have me around."
Davis had surgery on the thumb Tuesday morning, hours before his teammates opened their season with a victory in Cleveland.
When asked if Davis would still be on a six-week timetable for his return, Ainge said: "Maybe five, fast healer."
According to a Waltham, Mass. police report, officers found Davis at 4 a.m. Monday walking shirtless near a black SUV that had stopped in the middle of the road, less than a quarter of a mile from his house. Davis told police he had gotten into a fight with Shawn Bridgewater, whom he identified as his "best friend since childhood," while driving back from a restaurant in Boston.
"Friends are going to be friends," Davis said Friday. "I just made a bad decision."
Davis was in the TD Garden early Friday when the Celtics took a team picture. About an hour before the game, he went into the locker room, changed from his "home" white uniform and into a gray suit.
Davis, with Ainge jumping in during a pause to provide the word, called the incident "stupid."
"This can make me or break me," Davis said. "I'll choose to have it make me. I have a lot of work to do to be the player I need to be or even the man I need to be."
As they walked out of the room from the press conference Ainge said: "Nothing good happens after midnight."
And Davis headed to the locker room.