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Why Don't I Love Glen?

By Sarah Barton


After watching a second season of Glen Davis' ups and downs, joy and tears, dives on the floor and attempts to take charges, I think I have finally made up my mind about him. I like Big Baby, even though I can barely tolerate the nickname. I am certainly not his biggest fan, but I like what he's done, what he's doing, and what he has the potential to do.

I've been wanting to write about Davis for at least a month now, but couldn't quite put it on paper. Did Sunday's gash to the head prompt a change of heart? Not exactly, but if we want to get symbolic here, that laceration represents his role on the Celtics of late: He has done his best to help stop the bleeding. He dropped 24 points on the Grizzlies a couple weeks ago, then had consecutive double-doubles to close out the month of March. For Davis, though, it's not all about the numbers. It's about the effort.

I like Davis as a player. For some reason, I don't love him. He works as hard as he can whenever he's on the floor, and even harder than that in the off-season. His jump shot has come along quite nicely, and his foot speed and athleticism are surprising for a dude of his size. His downfall is that he's young, and has been thrust into a position where the Celtics' vocal, emotional, and statistical leader usually resides. No one can consistently thrive in that type of role, but Davis certainly holds his own.

Looking back, Davis is no stranger to being thrust into the spotlight. In his sophomore season at LSU, he led the Tigers to their first Final Four in ten years. After being named First Team All-SEC as a junior, Davis decided he was ready for the big show.

But the big show wasn't sure how to handle the Big Baby. He was listed as 6'8", 310 pounds coming out of LSU, and is now listed as 6'9", 289. I've read a few things that say he's really closer to 6'7". Regardless of his wavering height, he dropped 20 pounds so he could have a shot in the NBA. The guy is a workhorse.

Now, two years after draft rights to Davis (along with some guy named Ray Allen) went from Seattle to Boston, Big Baby has made some substantial strides toward making a name for himself. He started ten of the 16 games that KG has missed and averaged 12 points and 5.4 rebounds in those contests. As a comparison, he's averaging 6.2 points and 3.9 rebounds for the season.

Davis is fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a role player on a veteran-laden, championship-winning Celtics team in his rookie year. This season, he has morphed into a crucial contributor for an injury-laden, championship-contending Celtics team. In just two NBA seasons, Davis has evolved into solid player on a top tier team. Probably the only person who saw that coming was Davis himself.

After Davis got stitched up on Sunday, he scored 15 points in the last ten minutes of the game. If you knock him, he's going to respond. Rumor (well, Wikipedia) has it that Davis once body-slammed Shaq during a "friendly" wrestling match. Anyone who can throw down Superman should not be underestimated. Oh, and Big Baby was 15 years old when he did it. Davis may be taking baby steps toward NBA superstardom, but he has shown both the potential and the mindset to do big things. I just can't figure out why I don't like him more.


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