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Baron Davis says playing for Clippers almost killed his love of the game

Mar 5, 2012, 12:26 PM EDT

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

Right now, the Los Angeles Clippers are the most entertaining team to watch in the NBA. They are athletic, fast paced, smart thanks to Chris Paul at the helm. They are learning to be contenders. There is a buzz around their games that is reminiscent of that other team in Staples Center — the building is full, it’s loud (louder than Lakers games) and there are a lot of people showing up to be seen in the lower bowl.

But the history of the Clippers still looms over this success — owner Donald Sterling is keeping an arm’s length from this team. Which is a good thing. Because he is the person most capable of killing all that momentum.

For an example of how, we bring you part of a must-read Baron Davis Q&A with the New York Post, where Davis recounts how Sterling used to heckle him from courtside.

And the other lowest point is when I played for the Clippers. … I just stopped liking basketball. And then you dribbling down the court and having the owner like cuss at you and call you an idiot. I didn’t even look forward to coming to the games, and if the owner [Donald Sterling] came to the game, I definitely was not gonna have a good game because it was just like, how do you play when the main heckler in the gym is the owner of the team, and he’s telling you how much he hates you and calling out your name?

Make no mistake, Davis was frustrating to Clippers fans. His injuries often stemmed from his conditioning early in the season, he seemed to be focused only every third game or so, and he fell in love with the pull-up three with 16 seconds left on the shot clock. Plus, a key reason they wanted to trade him was to get his attitude and work ethic out of a locker room where Blake Griffin was changing the culture.

But it’s a big jump from there to the owner sitting courtside and heckling one of his own players. It is right out of bad management 101. And we’re not going to get into the laundry list of other issues around Sterling. There are fantastic, hardworking people in the Clippers organization who have made smart moves to get them where they are. Let’s hope the man at the top doesn’t screw that up.

Back to Davis, he also talks about Jeremy Lin, UCLA, Steve Lavin, John Wooden and much more. Here are some comments on Lin and how their games mesh, but go read the whole thing.

He’s an attack, attack, attack, attack. Like he’s speed and fast. I’m more so kinda shifty and at a different pace than his. I’m more like pass first than I am scoring. … He plays like north-south … straight lines. … I play like … in squiggly lines. Jeremy sets the defense up because he attacks, attacks, attacks and gets in the paint and puts a lot of pressure on the defense. Then when they’re used to that pressure, when I come in, it’s like, “Oh, he’s not going all the way to the basket. He’s stopping, and he’s finding.”

  1. ihavenonickname - Mar 5, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    No, Baron. You killed your love for the game yourself, lazyA.

    – Clipper Fan

    • chargerdillon - Mar 5, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      He may be lazy, but at least he’s not stupid.

      I hope you just became a Clippers fan as of this year, otherwise you have no business commenting about basketball because any real long time Clippers fan hasnt been watching competitive basketball for decades.

      To be a Clippers fan is to disregard any real look at reality and who’s running your franchise. Donald Sterling is garbage and he serves the same purpose the San Diego Padres serve to baseball. They’re minor league clubs in the major league to provide a farm system within the league for other legit teams to poach from.

      You want to be a Clippers fan, that’s fine. Don’t blame your players for anything, start with your owner.

    • skids003 - Mar 5, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      I bet he loves the game more than washing cars, or really having to get out in this wonderful economy created by our lib buddies, to have to earn a living.

  2. oside760 - Mar 5, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    sounds like somebody is jealous that he isn’t playing on a better team. Hey baron, your love for the game was killed when you first entered the league. you fat out of shape piece of crap. just go back to only playing when you want to. looks like its good throughout your career…..

  3. oside760 - Mar 5, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    looks like it has worked good throughout your career…..**

  4. dadawg77 - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    I dont understand why someone woild want to play for an owner whom according to the DOJ wouldn’t rent them an apartment.

  5. manwithpizza - Mar 5, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    If Baron had been drafted by the Clips, I’d have some sympathy.

    But he chose to go there as a FA. He knew what he was getting into. Every player in the league knows all about Sterling. He took the money, knowing the history of the franchise and the owner.

  6. metalhead65 - Mar 5, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    if I were the owner paying him all that money to watch him suck I would boo him to! is he on a 1 year deal with the knicks?if so he will have a great second half of the season to get him a fat extention then you will see the real baron davis next year and knick fans will be booing him when he is not in the training room getting treatment on yet another injury for being fat and out of shape.

  7. chetboyle - Mar 5, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Why is everyone excusing the fact that Davis is lazy? Sterling has been a cheap owner but at least has changed some. Davis however is still lazy. Sterling will probably stay in his owner box like the rest of the rich white guys and talk all the crap he wants about his players.

  8. losangelasbasketball - Mar 5, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Poor baron… Took his ball and went home cause someone called him names….

  9. jolink653 - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    i’m pretty sure everyone would feel a lot differently if they had their boss screaming at them the entire game about how much they suck…donald sterling is far and away the worst owner in sports and the fact he’s allowed to own a team is an absolute disgrace…just look what he’s doing to clipper darrell…he’s total trash

    and davis might not always be in the best of shape but there’s no denying the guy is a great player when he’s healthy

    • 00maltliquor - Mar 6, 2012 at 1:53 AM

      Agreed. And it’s a total shame what they’re doing to Clipper Darrell. That whole outfit is trash.

  10. diablito0402 - Mar 6, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Haha i guess playing back up to jeremy lin in NY resarted his fire for the game??? The guy is nuts, hahah

  11. max20characters - Mar 6, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    So did Big Macs and McChickens.

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