Aug 3, 2012, 10:41 AM EDT
Jacque Vaughn, the new coach of the Orlando Magic, has been out doing what newly hired coaches do — meet all your players. Face to face. Talk to them about what you want to do and what you expect of them. Communicate.
“Just making sure that you’re ready. You’re going to have the opportunity to be a contributor here. You’re going to have the opportunity to do big things, and you just be ready, making sure that you come in [to training camp Oct. 1] the right way, in the right shape, and just holding me accountable.”
Davis showed up to camp last year after the lockout heavy… well, heavier. Nobody was ever going to mistake him for having Dwight Howard’s build on a good day. But after the lockout he looked a little soft.
This time, Vaughn wants to see some commitment from Davis before the season starts. No playing your way into shape.
On what’s left of this Magic roster Davis should get a lot of burn. There are no stretch fours stealing his minutes and once Howard is traded (whenever that happens) they will need his presence inside. Davis is getting an opportunity. It’s on him now.
After the meeting, Davis came away impressed with the new Magic coach.
“He’s a wonderful guy,” Davis said of Vaughn. “His upside is just amazing. Where he’s been in his life and his career, the things that he’s encountered as far as a basketball level and things like that is high. And he’s young. He’s ready.
“I called him a ‘thirsty dog,’ because I know he’s been chomping at the bits to get on that level of coaching. Now he has the opportunity to do that. I’m blessed and fortunate to be in a situation to be his first pupil.”