DAVIS RETURNS TO CLIPPERS WITH AN EYE ON TITLE
Eric Patten, Clippers.com
PLAYA VISTA – When Glen “Big Baby” Davis’ first few months with the Clippers ended in May, there was a sense that things were left unfinished.
Davis, who re-signed with the Clippers on Saturday after originally joining the team on Feb. 24 following a contract buyout with the Orlando Magic, spent most of last regular season working into playing shape. He hit his stride in the Playoffs, averaging 12.2 minutes and shooting 61.0 percent from the field.
But the Clippers were eliminated and Davis was left to decide his future as an unrestricted free agent once he declined a player option for a second year under his previous terms.
“I was here for such a short time and it was like I just got here,” Davis said Monday afternoon following a workout at the team’s training center in Playa Vista. “Now, I have a full year here. I think I finished strong in the Playoffs and just to have full year with the guys. Training camp means so much. I feel myself working my way into the rotation and being a key role player.”
Part of that means getting in better shape than he arrived in Los Angeles in February. He missed most of the first month of last season with a foot injury and was effectively unused from the All-Star break to March. Davis said he intends to say in town for the duration of the summer.
“I’m just going to stay here,” he said. “The Clippers’ program for the offseason is going to be great for me. There are guys in here playing pickup every day. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be in California this whole summer.”
Davis will likely serve as one of the primary backups to MVP candidate Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan along with newly signed center Spencer Hawes.
“As far as bigs I feel like we’re the best in the league,” Davis said. “I feel like we can really establish ourselves as four bigs. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Davis and Hawes can play with either Griffin or Jordan, something Davis proved last season, and both provide a stretch element to the Clippers’ offense. In 23 games with the Clippers in 2013-14, Davis shot 64.3 percent from 10-16 feet, while Hawes, who split time between Philadelphia and Cleveland last year, was a 41.6-percent 3-point shooter, the loftiest percentage of his career.
“Doc [Rivers] has a lot of options,” Davis said. “I’m just going to come in and try and be in the best shape possible and make sure I work my butt off to help this team win.”
Davis is one of two Clippers with a championship ring. He won the 2008 title with the Celtics under Rivers, while newcomer Jordan Farmar has two titles. For Davis, winning, or the chance to win a second title, is what ultimately made his decision to return an easy one.
“I just felt like in my career I have no time to just be playing,” Davis said. “I know what Doc’s trying to do here and he’s trying to win. There’s no question about it. He’s going to put the best players on the floor and I just wanted to be a part of something that you know that there are good vibes here. There’s no rebuilding year. This is what it is: trying to win.”