I'm just happy that guys actually want to play in NY now. The culture is finally changing.Baron Davis’ desire to play in New York outweighed the chance to play with Kobe Bryant or LeBron James.
The veteran point guard signed with the Knicks on Monday, passing up a chance to join stronger teams because he said he always saw himself playing at Madison Square Garden.
“I always kind of rise to the occasion when I’m playing against the Knicks and playing in the Garden,” Davis said at the Knicks’ training facility. “It’s just an unbelievable opportunity and I’m ready to accept the challenge.”
Not yet, however. A herniated disc in his back has sidelined Davis all preseason, an injury he’s heard could keep him out eight to 10 weeks. But Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni hopes it will be much sooner, and the team is willing to wait for the chance to add a veteran to an inexperienced starting backcourt.
“The first order of business is just get him healthy and make sure that when he is able to play, he’s ready to go,” D’Antoni said. “If we get to that point, which hopefully we will, we’ve got one of the better point guards in the league, just adds another weapon to already a pretty good group.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers waived Davis last week and designated him as their amnesty player so the $28 million he was owed over the remaining two years of his contract wouldn’t count against their salary cap figure. No team claimed him, so he was free to sign with anyone.
His hometown Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat both called, and Davis said he even spoke to players on both teams. But he said his mind was already made up that if he got to free agency, he was going to New York—and he even agreed to accept the veteran’s minimum salary, worth about $1.4 million, to do so.
“Those teams did call and I have a great respect for both organizations, but for me it was just the opportunity to play in New York, play in the Garden, play for these fans, and to play on this team,” Davis said.
The Knicks were looking to fortify their backcourt, where they are slated to start youngsters Toney Douglas and Landry Fields, after waiving Chauncey Billups with their amnesty clause so they could afford Tyson Chandler. Though they continue to express confidence in both, both struggled in the Knicks’ victory at New Jersey on Saturday in their exhibition opener, and they decided to take a chance on Davis without even making him pass a physical first.
Davis said he doesn’t care if he supplants one of them or comes off the bench. And though he’s always been more scorer than playmaker from the point, he’s ready for that to change playing with potent scorers Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
“A big reason why I came here was because of the front line,” David said. “You just think about two 20-plus scorers on your front line and then a guy like Tyson Chandler, who’s a defensive stopper and a great defensive leader. I think you have the right complements, they all complement each other well and I think that for me it’ll be great to get out on the floor and just play with guys at that talent level.”
Davis played in 58 games last season, averaging 13.1 points and 6.7 assists for the Clippers and Cavaliers. The two-time All-Star has averaged 16.5 points and 7.3 assists since being drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the No. 3 overall pick in the 1999 draft.
The Knicks previously signed another veteran point guard, Mike Bibby, and D’Antoni said they would still like to find another player who can fill in at both forward spots. For now, they believe a healthy Davis, following the big acquisition of Chandler, has them closing the gap on the teams above them.
“We’re getting pretty good,” D’Antoni said. “We can always add somebody, but again it’s a little premature with Baron, we’ll have to wait until he gets well, but we’re pretty good.”
The second sentence in that article is complete bull****!
He passed up the opportunity to join STRONGER teams?
And then they mention the Lakers? They look weak as hell, Kobe is their only weapon, maybe Bynum - that's it. Gasol is soft as baby skin and their role playerssuck apart from McRoberts, they're not even the best team in L.A. anymore...
and the Heat...well it remains to be seen whether they are stronger than us.....we have more depth and a true center.
Disrespectful oppinion on the Knicks, like always in the media...acting as if Baron selected the Bobcats over Miami and the Lakers....weaker team yeah, F you journalists!
The Knicks have much more than that. Where's the respect?
IF... A BIG IF... If Davis, Chandler, Amar'e all stay healthy, forget about it. A top-4 team in the East & legit title contender. And if they get hot & rolling come playoffs? Wow.
How do you stop this? Davis brings ball up and has 3 options:
1- Run the pick-roll-or-pop w/ Stoudemire.
2- Alley-Oops to TC
3- Skip ball to corner elbow & let Melo go ISO
That's about as filthy as you can get. If DAVIS is healthy and returns to form, & if STAT's body holds up & TC stays on the court... Name another team with a better starting 4?
Douglas will be the first G off the bench. Combo G & quasi 6th man. Instant offense if hot & in rhythm.
Jeffries & Balkman will have a grunt role (defense & rebounding)
Fields & Shumpert
Jordan & Joorts
These 4 are wild cards. If one from each grouping (a SG & a C) can emerge to give productive/quality minutes, then that adds to the depth.
The Knicks will also add something at the deadline. Wilson Chandler anyone?
dude seriously, go join another forum
after reading that he joined the knicks because of in part
TYSON CHANDLER< A DEFENSIVE MINDED CENTER AND A DEFENSIVE LEADER.
davis was never a slouch on defense ever, would always ball hawk , rip a guy at half court and take it in for a dunk or a lob alley oop to some one filling the lane.
The thing I love the most about our team, is we don't ever seem afraid
yeah i agree, I doubt thats what baron was saying, but it was definitely the idiot writer.
the lakers look like they are on the verge of imploding at the moment
and miami will be the same team they were last year, only difference is they got worse at center, and didnt upgrade at pg.
and wade mike miller haslem are another year older on already breaking down bodies.
who is next in line
bulls and knicks.
The thing I love the most about our team, is we don't ever seem afraid
reality check -
he could've taken $1 to come play for us, dont matter, hes getting his full check, so stop makin it seem like he made a great financial sacrifice
he definetly prefers a big stage and now hes got the biggest to perform on
he doesnt have to compete with kobe or dwayne wade for backcourt minutes/shots.
but i'd still love it if we got the boom dizzle from his warriors years!
I see you have 1500 posts so this your life and I will let you slide as well this time...
NO MORE HIDDEN MESSAGES ..I PROMISE...Get a life..Get a job...
Magic Johnson says if NYK can get (and keep) B-Davis FIT, & healthy, and the cat is a mere 80% of what he was 5 years ago in GSW, then NY will be competing for a title. Right there with CHI & MIA come playoff time.
BD always elevates his game when the environment &/or circumstances evoke the talent within the ex-Bruins genes. Dude just has that flare.
The last time an agin former Warrior PG was injecting into the MIA-NYK rivalry (See Tim Hardaway), good things happened for him.
Davis willbe fine. If Shumpert or Fields develops, and/or we get a SG at the deadline.... Davis-Chandler duo, added to our 2 stars, is the P-E-R-F-E-C-T compliment.
This is really a case where 2 legit B-stars = 1 franchise player.
I actually prefer Davis-Chandler to CP3.
Now we're that much closer.
Will it be easy? no.
Will it happen? Who knows.
Will we get the bounces? Luck is a fickle thing!
Will we be bit by the injury bug? Hope not.
But, the main ingrdients are there. Now just add your own spices and hope for the best.
We have one of the best front courts in the game again (sorry Curry & Randolph - LOL). We now have possibly one of the best PGs (especially in the clutch, with the bright lights on).
Now we need to find the right role players... best pieces... We really need a Douglas, Fields, or Shumpert to step up. We could use a contribution from a Jorts or Jordan.
But, we got the PG & C to place next to Melo & Stat. Next year, we'll round out the roster and add what's needed.
Here's to a 4 yr window baby!
Last edited by mafra; Dec 21, 2011 at 09:52.
Artest looks horrible out there, all he had as a player seems to be gone, now he's just an undersized unathletic small forard who can't shoot.
Odom is gone, Shannon Brown is gone.....the Lakers are in big trouble.
I like Baron Davis much better as our point guard than Billups. Billups is essentially a shooting guard these days (see preseason game for Clippers), while Baron has always been a good passer and still is. No Nash or Kidd, but a better playmaker than Billups.
Plus we got Chandler, one of the top defensive players in the league.
I think we're atleast, at the very least one level above 10-11!
We even have Mike Bibby on the bench, a guy Miami had to start last season! And Balkman is a useful hustler too, when given his chance (see preseason game).
I haven't felt this good since 99 while looking at our roster!
I fully believe we can go places this year and next year.
The best sign for us beeing relevant again is the fact that the haters come out again! The media are already downplaying our chances and there is close to no echo coming from other teams in the league......I think they're scared of us, they will never admit it, but they are. We are the only franchise in the history of the sport that went to the Finals as an 8th seed, we're the only franchise that can sell out all seats despite beeing last in their division.
They know what a special place MSG is for basketball and what we're capable of and they hate it, because they can't be a part of it!
Knicks till I die baby!
I can't wait to gain some respect Sunday when we whip the old men from Boston....Knicks 94-Celtics 88 .....Go NY