Baron Davis just Crapped on the Warriors

Published: July 2, 2008

"People never Change"

I don't actually believe that.  People can change.  But I do believe that people don't truly change unless something seriously life-altering occurs.   All those seminars to teach people how to be more effective, or more motivated, or more disciplined?  They don't work.  At best, the person may pick up one thing to help them on their way – if they are already inclined that way.  If a person is normally lazy(like me), or disorganized(like me), or selfish(sometimes, yes), they pretty much stay that way unless something occurs that both kicks them in the teeth AND makes them realize it's a specific bad habit that makes them suffer.

Baron Davis?  He's been insulated his whole life.  People have sucked up to him since high school, and so far he's been rewarded for his style every step he's taken.  He's never suffered a real check.  It was no surprise to me when he opted out at the last possible moment from his contract, stunning the Warriors and leaving them grasping at straws while he agreed to terms with the Clippers.  I knew that Baron wasn't staying in Golden State from the moment Don Nelson benched him in an important game late last season.  With that one action Nelson had become a roadblock.  An annoyance.  Baron doesn't deal with those, he just goes somewhere else.  He's done it before.

The tipping point for Baron wanting to leave the Hornets was when the Hornets passed a team rule excluding  personal trainers from the practice center.  Baron wanted his, and in a petulant snit, he brought his trainer to the center and stretched with him on the sidewalk.  When the Hornets held firm, his campaign to leave New Orleans began in earnest.  The Hornets, and the straight-talking Byron Scott, had become annoyances.  It was time to leave.

I feel for the Golden State fans.  When Baron, playing for the Hornets, threw down two triple doubles in the playoffs against the Magic, shoving McGrady's claim that he was the best player on the floor in his face, I couldn't have been happier.  Baron was my boy.  My wife still reminds me of that fact to this day.  Golden State got to experience that glorious crushing of the Mavericks.  They got to see Baron at his best. Now they get to see him at his worst.

Baron is, at heart, a selfish person who typically takes the easy way out.  You can see it on the basketball floor.  He takes too many stupid off-balance three pointers, eschewing the effort it would take to go to the hole, despite being one of the best in the league at it.  He plays the Point, but makes sure the glory goes his way – through direct assists or scoring on his part.  Entry passes, disciplined offense, tight defense?  Too much work. Play a full season?  Rarely – and it isn't a surprise he played a full one this year, considering he was going for a new contract. 

Now, he's not all bad.  He'll make gestures, like throwing 50k New Orleans way after the hurricane and the way he said good things about his teammates in the flush of victory during their magical playoff run.  Still, those are easy things, cheap in effort, and need to be identified as such.

In the end, if the Clippers want this to work, Dunleavy had better be at his butt-kissing best, the Front Office had better make sure they have a back up point guard capable of playing 20+ games a season as a starter, and Clippers fans had better brace themselves, because when Baron leaves, it stings all the more because he will do it with indifference, not even caring enough to muster contempt.

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