June 12, 2007

Big Baby reaches new heights in workouts

Former LSU star Glen Davis is receiving a crash course in the life of an NBA player. Particularly when it comes to life on the road.

After traveling to workouts in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago over a three-day span, Davis returned to his temporary home in Houston for a day off on Monday before beginning the second leg of a tour that ultimately will cover more than 6,000 miles.

How did the 6-foot-9 forward fair on the first leg? Where is he heading next?

Davis, who averaged 17.7 points and 10.4 rebounds a game last season, talks about it all and much more in the third installment of his Rivals.com diary:

"After three workouts in three days I just got back to Houston. So far I feel like everything is going good, in fact even better than expected.

"I'm actually a little relieved because I've found some talent that I never thought I had. You never really realize how good you are until you get to this professional level and until you take that mindset that you believe you can do anything.

"With the weight loss (Davis is down to 280-285 pounds) I can really jump and score over guys. I'm moving quicker and I feel like my knowledge of the game is improving. I'm not out there thinking as much.

"I'm going to work out with the Rockets here and then I head out to Sacramento and Seattle. I'll come back to Houston for a quick break and then finish up with Washington, D.C., and Golden State."

Your first workout was with the Philadelphia 76ers. How did it go? What other players did you go up against?

"I was pretty nervous. It was my first ever workout and I think I was putting too much pressure on myself, thinking that I had to dominate. Thaddeus Young (Georgia Tech), Derrick Byars (Vanderbilt) and Jason Smith (Colorado State) were also there.

"I ended up doing a pretty good job. Once I got the jitters out of the way and got used to the fast tempo I felt more like myself."

You've played in the Final Four in front of 40,000-plus fans, but playing 2-on-2 in front of a few dozen people got you nervous?

"There's so much more at stake. There's a big difference. Basketball is my livelihood now. It's how I'm going to support myself financially. But, once you get out on the court and you start playing basketball you don't even think about all that stuff. It all just goes away."

You had New York/New Jersey (held together) and Chicago next. How did those two compare?

"They were fairly similar. Both had fast tempos as well. I knew what to expect more coming in so I played really well. I thought I really played to the best of my ability.

"We had a completely new crew of players, including Morris Almond (Rice), Josh McRoberts (Duke) and Nick Young (USC).

"Chicago was a little different because there were more big men. Spencer Hawes (Washington), Chris Richard (Florida) and Darryl Watkins (Syracuse) were the other guys. Richard was better than I expected. I think he has lost some weight.

"Being the third workout in three days, I felt like I was getting into a rhythm and I shot the ball really well.

"(Head) Coach (Scott) Skiles was there and I never saw him smile, but I think that is just the way he is. All the head coaches have been at each workout so I got to meet Maurice Cheeks and Isiah Thomas."

To read more on Davis and his preparations for the upcoming NBA draft return to Rivals.com.

Previous entries: Lean times | The workout tour


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