Spotlight: Baron Davis

After one year with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and a history with other teams including the Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers, Baron Davis has been waived with the amnesty clause and is now a free agent. The latest rumour is that Davis has found a new home in the New York Knicks. With talks of a deal being made today, NBA fans all over are anxious to see if the rumours are true. Having suffered a recent back injury, warming the bench all pre-season and still having an estimated two to three months ahead in recovery, it’s questionable how quickly he’ll become an asset to the Knicks. Managing to stay notable in his career and remain a relevant, respected young professional on and off the court, why not a little Baron Davis history lesson to tide us over in the meantime.

As early as elementary school, Baron Davis was offered a basketball scholarship from a private high school in Santa Monica. Though he was reluctant to accept and leave his friends and family behind, his grandparents and guardians Luke and Lela convinced him to make the most of the great opportunity. While most students came from wealthy families and aimed to become doctors and lawyers, Davis’ focus was always basketball. His favourite team? Magic Johnson and the Lakers.

After winning a host of awards and leading his team to multiple victories, he continued to grow as a player and the high school junior began receiving more than 20 phone calls a week from talent scouts. With so many college choices, and being pulled with offers in every direction, UCLA made the biggest demonstration of eagerness by hiring Baron’s sister, Lisa, in the food services department of the college, as well as taking on his recruiting coordinator, Steve Lavin, as a team coach. Shortly after, he announced on live television he was going to be a Bruin.

In playing with the Bruins, Baron Davis suffered highs and lows, playing some of the best and worst games of his career. Suffering from a team lacking the importance of teamwork and communication, he also tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, taking him out for an entire season and forcing him into surgery and rehab. After healing and returning to the court, it then became his foul mouth that got him into trouble, often berating referees on what he thought to be poor calls.

Signing up with the Charlotte Hornets in his rookie season, he immediately wowed the coaches and team, showing instant talent. Putting up modest numbers considering his time on the court, he spent an entire summer studying hours of jitterbug guards like himself, such as Isiah Thomas and Stephon Marbuy. He learned a crucial crossover hesitation move, as well as to release faster upon his running jump, essentially forming the admirable player he is today, and the rest is history.

Other notable Baron Davis moments include:

– Baron nailed an 89-foot shot against the Milwaukee Bucks in 2001, and was credited as the longest shot in NBA history.

– “Only” 6’3, Baron remains one of the premier dunkers in the league.

– He has been an executive producer on a few Hollywood flicks including “Asylum” and “The Pool Boys”.

– He hosts a summer camp every year for children called The Baron Davis Next Level Basketball Camp, designed for young boys and girls grades 4 through 10.


You can follow Baron Davis on Twitter @Baron_Davis

Information courtesy of 
Image courtesy of Steve Shupe