Notes: Baby’s Presence; Barnes’ Health, Fine; Wilcox On Return

Rowan Kavner

UTAH – Sometimes it’s so out of left field that no one understands him. Other times, teammates think it’s straight gibberish.

But almost every time, the antics and energy of Glen “Big Baby” Davis get his team fired up, even if no one knows what he’s saying. That was the case earlier this week when the Clippers beat the Nuggets.

“There are some games where his energy is so high like that, that sometimes I don’t know what he’s talking about,” Blake Griffin said with a smile. “It doesn’t really matter. It’s the spirit.

“He started talking about a sausage pepper sandwich or something like that. Like, I don’t know. He’s like, ‘I don’t want no mayonnaise, just meat and bread.’ I was like, ‘All right, let’s get him a sausage sandwich.’ You know what I mean? It doesn’t matter what he’s saying, it’s the energy and the way he’s playing. When he has great energy like that, you want to keep it going.”

Head coach Doc Rivers said the energy is contagious enough that it gets everybody up. That’s literally the case, as Jamal Crawford remembered “Big Baby” not liking the crowd presence early, so he got up on his feet to tell the fans at STAPLES Center to stand up.

Davis would go on to total eight points and five rebounds in 10 minutes, flexing and entertaining the crowd the entire way.

“He was unbelievable,” Crawford said. “His energy, it’s weird, I’ve played with Nate Robinson, and I think Baby has that gift as far as his energy. His energy can lift a whole building.

“Baby doesn’t stop. It’s almost like he’s out there with you even if he’s sitting on the bench.”

Barnes’ Fine

Matt Barnes claimed that his second $25,000 fine in the last month and a half was actually started by another owner.

The Clippers’ forward was hit with the fine “for directing inappropriate language toward a fan,” but Barnes said it was Suns owner Robert Sarver who began the incident in question by saying “something derogatory” to him.

“I just think, obviously as players, we’re held to a higher standard,” Barnes said. “I’ve had to watch myself on that, but I think if we’re held to higher standards, the owners should be held to even higher standards.”

ESPN.com reported that an NBA spokesman confirmed the fine wasn’t a result of Barnes’ interaction with Sarver after the league reviewed the incident, but Barnes gave his version of the incident during Wednesday’s shootaround.

“I was talking to a little 13-year-old boy and his dad, we were kind of going back and forth, and there were two guys behind him just heckling the whole game,” Barnes said. “I was laughing, and I had a bad game shooting, so they were just on me. I said something to the little boy because someone said, ‘Oh, you were fined $25,000!’ I was like, ‘Yeah, that was a lot of money, huh?’ He smiled at me, then the owner kind of said what he said, and I responded.”

Barnes was asked what Sarver said to him, and he said to ask the owner.

“He said enough to make me respond to him,” Barnes said. “We don’t like each other. He didn’t like me when I was there, I didn’t like him when I was there. It just kind of is what it is.”

Head coach Doc Rivers said he didn’t know about the incident in Phoenix until the next day, and he’s talked to Barnes since then about what happened. Rivers said it’s hard not to react sometimes, but those are the rules, and they’ve been that way for a long time.

“You’ve just got to take it and keep playing,” Rivers said. “There’s a difference between emotion and being emotional. Emotions are good. You can’t be too emotional. It is a difference. It’s hard.”

Barnes’ Health

On the plus side for Barnes, his status to play tonight seems better than it did earlier this week.

Rivers said after Monday’s game that Barnes was dealing with an abdominal strain and didn’t practice the other day, but he said during Wednesday’s shootaround that he should be able to go. Barnes said he was feeling fine as well.

“Matt plays through injuries, which is good,” Rivers said. “He’s always done that through his career for the most part. There’s guys who are typically available, and he’s one of them.”

Rivers said even if Barnes wasn’t able to go, the Clippers wouldn’t rush to add a free agent.

“We won’t go out and panic and sign somebody,” he said. “We’re going to wait and be patient, even if he’s down. We have enough guys.”

Wilcox’s Return

C.J. Wilcox is glad to be back with the Clippers, but he’s also grateful for his experience in the D-League.

Wilcox was expected to play five games with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, and that’s exactly what he did, shooting 53 percent and averaging 13.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 24.4 minutes per game.

His best performance came on Jan. 16, when he took advantage of 36 minutes of playing time, scoring 27 points and adding eight rebounds.”

“It felt really good,” Wilcox said. “I forgot what it felt like to play, because I was out for the summer. I hadn’t really played since college, my last game in college. It was good to get a feel and the flow back of the game. It feels normal again.”

Wilcox returned to the Clippers, and immediately could tell he was back in the NBA.

“It’s a different level of competition,” Wilcox said. “Being around all the stars again and working out against them, it’s night and day difference playing against these guys. It’s good to be back and be around the team.”