There were times when Baron Davis was as good a playmaker, as entertaining a point guard in the NBA — remember how he played when he led Golden State to the first-round upset of the Dallas Mavericks in 2007? He had the gift of court vision, and even in his frustrating later years on the nights he showed up physically and mentally right he could be magical. I’ve seen few players be able to light up a crowd like he could on the right night.
We may never see those days again.
The Knicks have announced that Baron Davis’ knee injury is much worse than we thought. And anyone who saw the video thought it was bad. Here is the announcement from the New York Knicks:
Injury Update: MRI on Baron Davis’ R knee revealed partial tear of the patella tendon & complete tears of the ACL & MCL.
Davis will have surgery later this week but would be age 34 when trying to make a comeback from this. A guy who has struggled to come back from injuries in recent years such as the herniated disc in his back that has limited him these playoffs.
Davis, when he was going right, was always one of my favorite players to watch. Too often, due to conditioning and more, we only caught glimpses of what he was capable of — in transition he could dazzle. Too many days he settled for threes (early in the clock), but when he attacked he could score or dish with the best, his feel for the game was incredible.
He’ll try to come back, but it’s hard to be optimistic. I’ll miss him. I’ll miss Boom Dizzle. I’ll miss the beard.
Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)
He told plenty of people – including the Pacers – he planned to leave for the Lakers in the summer of 2018. Even after the Thunder traded for him, George spoke of the lure of playing for his hometown team.
Of course, George also left the door open to re-signing with Oklahoma City. He proclaimed he’d be dumb to leave if the Thunder reached the conference finals or upset the Warriors.
So far, Oklahoma City (12-14) doesn’t even look like a playoff lock, let alone a team capable of knocking off Golden State or reaching the conference finals. So, cue the inevitable speculation.
Rival execs still expect Paul to head for the Lakers in free agency
Do these executives have inside information into George’s thinking, or are they just speculating based on already-available information? Some executives are incentivized to drum up the Lakers threat, because they want to trade for George themselves now. If these executives insist George will leave for Los Angeles regardless, they might pry him from Oklahoma City for less.
There’s also a theory George is hyping his desire to sign with the Lakers so a team would have to trade less for him. That got him to the Thunder for what looked like a meager return (but hasn’t been). It might get him to a more favorable situation before the trade deadline without hampering his next team long-term. Of course, this theory isn’t mutually exclusive with George actually signing in Los Angeles. It could just get him better options to choose from this summer.
Surely, the Thunder are trying to parse all this noise. If their season doesn’t turn around, they should explore flipping George rather than risk losing him for nothing next summer. But they should also be wary that he’ll bolt for Los Angeles at first opportunity just because rival executives predict it.