HoopsHype.com Interviews

Baron Davis: "Summer league is a great way to stay in shape"
by Morris O'Kelly / July 25, 2004

Why did you come out to play in the Summer Pro League?

Baron Davis: It’s a great way to stay in shape, keep my timing and try new things. It’s a great league.

What do you think of the level of competition out here?

BD: It’s great competition. These guys can really play. A lot of people don’t understand how good these guys are or how competitive it is.

Why do you think that’s the case?

BD: A lot of these guys are playing to get a job somewhere. These games matter. There are coaches, GM’s, scouts everywhere. Even if you don’t end up in the NBA, you could be overseas, NBDL, anywhere.

Do guys play you harder out here because you play in the NBA?

BD: Yeah, I think so. They want to show what they can do, that they’re not intimidated and I’m not going to back down either. It gets a little rough sometimes. But it’s all good. There’s a lot of talking going on out there.

From what you’ve seen, do you think any of the unsigned free agents will end up on an NBA roster this year?

BD: Absolutely. Every year it happens. Like Darrick Martin. Last year he was on an agent team and ended up playing for Minnesota in the playoffs.

Do you think players tighten up, knowing that scouts and GM’s are in the stands?

BD: It has to matter. I mean, (Lakers GM) Mitch Kupchak is sitting over there (in the stands) and the Lakers’ summer league team doesn’t play today. So you know why he’s here.

Right now you’re getting swamped by dozens of children asking for your autograph. You’re giving an interview at the same time. Does it ever get to be too much?

BD: Of course. You can’t give everyone an autograph and you can’t give everyone time. But here you’ve got to remember that this might be the only time kids can get close to you. You can’t just come out, play and leave.

Not surprisingly, your team Life Sports Management just won the Agent Division title in an up-and-down, thrilling game. You even threw in 37. What was going through your mind?

BD: 37? Really? I was just thinking about winning. It doesn’t matter the game or the situation, I’m trying to win. We did that. It was a great game.

What’s different about the NBA game and the Summer Pro League?

BD: I would say that the intensity is higher here (Summer Pro League). These guys are hungry and need to eat. You might have more overall talent in the NBA, but this league is only two weeks and for many of them this is their only shot. Nothing is promised.

Morris O'Kelly is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com

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