Davis plans to explore all free agency options


Davis plans to explore all free agency options

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn MEDFORD As Glen Davis took in a little shade on a rather warm Monday afternoon, the winner of the ReMax of New England "Home Court" makeover -- the Donlan family -- were also presented with a pair of jersey No. 11s with the 'Donlan' name on the back.

Davis, who wears No. 11 for the C's, chuckled when he saw the jerseys.

"They're trying to get rid of me already," quipped Davis.

The future of the 6-foot-8 forward, an unrestricted free agent as of July 1, is very much in doubt as a member of the Green team.

Several factors will come into play as to whether he re-signs with the C's, among them being his relationship with coach Doc Rivers.

Throughout his four years with the Celtics, Davis and Rivers have had their differences with their pseudo war-of-words playing out inside the locker room as well as publicly.

But here's the thing.

Rivers has proven himself to be one of the more respected head coaches in the NBA, a motivator whose methods can rub some players -- okay, young players -- the wrong way at times.

And for all the ups and downs that may come about with Davis, he, too, has proven his worth in the eyes of many throughout the NBA as a high-energy big man who usually plays his best in the biggest games of the season -- the playoffs.

Since the two came together in 2007 (Davis was part of the blockbuster trade that brought Ray Allen to the C's) each has needed the other at times in order for the Celtics to be one of the more successful NBA franchises over the past four seasons.

That faith has been tested by both men at times, but it seemed to be at its low point near the end of last season's playoff run that ended with a second-round loss to the Miami Heat in just five games. That series, much like the previous one against New York, was one in which Davis played poorly.

"I don't know what it was," Rivers told WEEI.com recently when asked about Davis' struggles in the playoffs. "To me, it was more in between his ears and his play. The whole contract thing affected his play. I thought he had the wrong focus at times; scoring was way too important to him."

After averaging a career-high 11.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, both career highs in the regular season, Davis slipped to just 4.9 points and 3.6 rebounds while playing about eight minutes less per game in the playoffs.

When Davis reflects back on what went wrong for him in the postseason, he blames himself for not being mentally tough enough to handle the pressure.

"When somebody presents something to me or something happens, still be in the moment and what you truly need to do," Davis said he has to remind himself of going forward. "That's what, last year, that's what messed me up. I wasn't mentally strong enough to handle what was in front of me. Things that happened, I would get distracted or get stressed out about the way things were handled or something like that. I don't need to worry about that. I need to be mentally strong, and just need to go out there and do what I know I can do, and that's play the game of basketball."

There are differences between Davis and Rivers, for sure.

But when Davis sees how Rivers and Rajon Rondo have managed to co-exist after some rocky moments early on, there's hope that a return to the C's might indeed bring about a more harmonious relationship between him and Rivers.

"Just like Rondo, he was given an opportunity to play the game," Davis said. "He believes Doc's methods, and Doc believed in him. Through his highs and lows, Doc still believed in him. No matter if he's playing great, no matter if he's playing bad, Doc still believed in him."

Davis would like a relationship like that someday with Rivers, or whoever his next coach will be.

And that's part of the challenge Davis faces in this offseason of uncertainty.

As much as Rivers drives him crazy, he knows in his heart of hearts that Rivers is simply trying to get the best out of him.

While Davis certainly doesn't always like Rivers' methods, when you look at the success Rivers has had with others such as Rondo, there's no mistaking that Rivers' way does indeed work.

A change of scenery doesn't necessarily guarantee his coach-player relationship will be better.

And so while Boston remains in the picture for Davis' services, by no means can one assume that the Celtics have the inside track.

When asked on Monday by CSNNE.com whether Boston was his first choice, Davis replied, "My choice is what's best for my family and career. That's what I concentrate on. I love being here in Boston. But if it's not going to benefit me and my family, I'll pick up and play elsewhere.

"That's my concern. That's the only thing I'm focused on now; my family's well-being and my career as a player . . . what situation is going to help Glen Davis be Glen Davis."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

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