As someone who played basketball for most of my life, I’ve had coaches ask me to play positions I shouldn’t be playing. I’ve played power forward at 6’1″ tall. I’ve been stuck at point guard even though my ball handling skills made me look drunk and my quickness was non-existent. I’ve started and I’ve come off the bench, I’ve played two minutes of some games and every second of others. As a player who could never claim to be a star, my role was always evolving.
Speaking as someone who’s lived the situation Glen “Big Baby” Davis now experiences, I can fairly say this:
Shut up, Glen.
Look, I sympathize with Davis’s frustration with his chameleon-like roles. I do. I know how difficult it is to morph every year, to reinvent yourself every offseason, to sit on the bench wondering when you’re going to be subbed in and what type of role you’ll have to play today. But rule number one of playing team sports remains: do whatever your coach tells you to do, even if that means grabbing some pom-poms from the cheerleaders.
“It’s difficult because, as a player, you kind of don’t understand where [the organization is] going or what they are doing,” Davis said. ”No matter what I do — I can play great — it’s still not enough.”
Still not enough for what, Glen? Not enough to help your team win games? Wrong. Not enough to make you a starter? Well, no kidding. Kevin Garnett’s pretty good at basketball. So what is it not enough for? Not enough to cement a defined role?
Looky here, Glen. Your role changes so often because you’re versatile. You have a soft jumper and quicker-than-expected feet, so when Kevin Garnett injures himself you can fill in nicely. You also have a wide frame, a knack for offensive rebounds and an ability to finish around big men (when they aren’t blocking your shot into the tenth row), so when the situation calls for it you play some center. And last year, when Rasheed Wallace was your fellow bench mate, what did you expect? That Rasheed would do the dirty work? Child please. Doc Rivers had no choice but to make you center offensively, Glen, unless he wanted all five players floating around the perimeter.
“Coming into my second year I did a really good job of becoming a better player, but it wasn’t good enough for our team, so they went out and got Rasheed Wallace.”
Glen, do you know how dumb that sounds? The Celtics didn’t sign Rasheed Wallace because you weren’t good enough, they signed Rasheed Wallace because you couldn’t be the only big man off the bench. You’re versatile, but not THAT versatile. Especially after you punched out your own thumb and couldn’t play for the season’s first 27 games.
“Now this year, you’ve got 5s, so I’ve just got to know what my role is again this year.”
The Celtics signed three new centers and you’re the only natural power forward on the entire roster, Glen. I’m guessing — just a guess, now — that you’ll play power forward and execute more pick-and-pops than last year. Unless, you know, Shaq and Jermaine O’Neal spend the entire season in the intensive care unit, which is entirely possible.
“[I've been] through some ups and downs with [head coach] Doc [Rivers] but as long as I find out what my role is, I’m going to do my role.”
… and then complain about it afterwards.
“It bothers me,”
Really? We couldn’t tell.
“but at the same time, I’m a player.”
… who bitches about my role like a teenage girl.
“Put me out on the court and I’ll do anything you want me to do.”
… and then cry about it later.
“That’s the beauty of my position.”
I thought you didn’t know your position, though?
“Throw me out there and I’m going to play.”
Now you’re talking.
“I’m going to go out there and guard Shaq.”
Even though he’s on your team?
“Throw me out there and I’m gonna guard Rashard Lewis.”
That makes more sense.
“Put me wherever you want to put me, I’m going to guard whoever you want me to guard. I’m just a basketball player.”
You’re starting to get it now. Good talk, Glen.
(All Glen Davis quotes for this piece taken from ESPN Boston.)