Where Damon Stoudamire gets his pot.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baron Davis, a Bit Chunky

That's some lame shit right there.

Over the summer Elton Brand left the once again-hapless Clippers in favour of the surging (and young!) Philadelphia Sixers. One of the key stories to come out of the transaction, aside from the Sixers' predicted rise in the Eastern Conference, was that of Baron Davis, who had signed with the Clippers after receiving confirmation from Brand that he'd stick around in LA. A number of journalists came out and tried to rank/assess the level of backstabbery on Brand's part. Needless to say it was often not a favourable response to Brand's character (though Brand has been a pretty classy, workman-type player in his basketball career).

So what about Baron Davis' reaction to the whole thing? Davis didn't care too much. Brand made his decision. Davis respected it. And thus the story deflated. At this point the Sixers look like a so-so contender in the Eastern Conference and the Clippers look to fall even further in the West, thus assuming their former perennial mediocrity.

Few journalists, however, commented on Davis' post-basketball career. Baron has made no attempts to disguise his leanings toward a film career once his career ends. He runs a movie blog. He's gotten into documentary producing. This move to LA only cements his ability to further schmooze with the Hollywood elite as his career winds down (which it will, very soon). Did you see the guy sitting courtside with Adam Sandler during the Lakers playoff games? Dude was already hanging out in LA with actors. He's been linked to Teri Hatcher (yikes). And now TrueHoop links to some photos of Jessica Alba, Baron, and some other shirtless dude hanging out on the beach. In what universe are we living in when Baron Davis, Jessica Alba, and some other guy (probably her husband) are frolicking on the beach? Baron Davis: richest third-wheel in date history.

I see this move for Davis as purely post-basketball finances. He wants to hang around LA, make some connections, and further his career in film production (AKA chill out with attractive celebrities and lay some of the Desperate Housewives). I also see Davis' career taking a nose-dive in the immediate future. To start, look at his body. The man looks like Oliver Miller in point guard form (well, not quite). But he doesn't look to be in the greatest shape in the weeks preceding training camp. (Thornton's gonna dunk on his face. Kid is nice.) Baron was a great story last season. He faded down the stretch, and the Warriors faltered in their playoff pursuit, but he still put together a solid season, especially for a point guard with that amount of mileage. I just don't see Davis holding up over the course of 82 games. Playing with the Clippers only makes matters worse. It's one thing to try and hold onto your health with a contender, but another thing with a bottom-dweller.

I caught the news of Shareef Abdur-Rahim retiring after 11 seasons in the league. Shareef easily had one the most understated and underwhelming careers in recent memory. He notched some impressive statistics in his career, though never played in a big market or for any particularly formidable teams. The one thing his retirement brings to mind is a dinky little home page I started ages ago in middle school. I provided a ranking of the top-ten NBA players. Rahim placed third (!), finishing behind Shaq, and either Tim Duncan or Jason Kidd. My rankings were clearly flawed, but Rahim was a player in those Grizzlies days. His placement was largely influenced by averaging 24.5 ppg in the preceding season. The Grizzlies were terrible mind you (Royal Ivey could've notched 17 on that team), but Rahim was an interesting SF/PF hybrid, maybe even a trailblazer for tweeners like Beasley who fall somewhere in between the post and perimeter.

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