Jessica Camerato: Baron Davis said he wants to play in …

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A couple of weeks ago he reconnected with his former agent, Todd Ramasar, and Saturday held a private workout for the Dallas Mavericks. They supposedly remain interested, but as with everyone else, they want to see him play first. While a source close to Davis says interest also has been expressed by teams in Finland, Israel and Australia, where former Knicks teammate Al Harrington is currently playing for the Sydney Kings, going overseas would probably push a return to the NBA to next season. It also might make it difficult for him to keep up his maintenance work with Hines and Dr. Khaziran. Forging his way back through the no-frills D-League actually holds a certain appeal. He doesn't want to come back because of who he was. He wants to make it back because of who he is.
So could he possibly recapture any of that, at 36, after a three-plus-year absence? "I don't know that people know the shape he's in," says Hollins, who worked out with him between being released by the Memphis Grizzlies in late October and picked up by the Washington Wizards at the end of November. "He can still play a couple years in this league."
Two of Baron's former coaches, Mike Dunleavy and Paul Silas, are certain he still could contribute even without an ability to attack the rim. "He's one of the smartest players I've ever coached," Dunleavy says. "That part of the game is never leaving him. Because of his size you could also throw him down in the post, and he's a terrific ball-handler, has vision and can get you into your sets. I'd have no concerns about bringing him in as a third guard and mentor to the young guys."
Two-time NBA All-Star guard Baron Davis is expected to sign a contract with the NBA's Development League by Wednesday, his agent Todd Ramasar told Yahoo Sports.
Davis, 36, decided over the weekend that he would sign a contract to join the D-League after contemplating the move for two years. Ramasar said that Davis' wife recently gave birth to their second child, which pushed his hopes of joining the D-League until after Jan. 20.
The Dallas Mavericks, who have been known to add NBA veterans to the roster of their D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends, worked out Davis in Los Angeles last Sunday, Ramasar said. "He is looking forward to playing in the D-League and showing teams what he is capable of," Ramasar told Yahoo Sports. "He feels that the timing is right. More than anything Baron has put in the training and is confident in his body. He feels he is ready to return to the NBA."
Davis has been working out daily with former NBA assistant and player development coach Rico Hines, his former UCLA teammate, in Los Angeles. The 6-foot-3 combo guard last played competitively in the Drew League Pro-Am in Los Angeles last summer. "Every pro athlete wants to retire on his terms," said Ramasar, who also played with Davis at UCLA. "His current last game wasn't the way he wanted to go out. He is very excited about the D-League."
Baron Davis: I'm focused. My conditioning is getting better and I am getting stronger. Hey, I'm starting to look like them and walk and talk like them again. Hell, these dudes are getting up to play against me again. Challenging me. Pushing me. Talking trash. I kinda like this. Wait until I get to where I know I can get to the level I need; wait until I am around a team and can really lock in on tools and start to sharpen them with some structure around. This is a good feeling. I'm feeling good about this. I need to embrace this feeling and be more like these guys. I like this new generation. I want to be a part of it. I have something to offer, something valuable. I still got it, so they say. But it's a long journey and now I'm fully committed to the journey, the climb, the hurt, the commitment, the unity and the brotherhood.
Baron Davis: And it's fun, because it the hardest thing I have done this far and the war with myself is over. The battle with the demon of doubt is over. I'm focused and I'm going for it. Wherever this game leads me, I know it won't be disappointing because I'm appreciative of the journey and the opportunity. It was almost lost, gone and killed off.
"This is the first time I'm going to put myself out there, I'm going to try out for some teams." @Baron_Davis on looking to get back to @NBA
How are you feeling health-wise? Baron Davis: "I'm feeling good, man. I'm working out a lot, getting back in basketball shape. At some point, I'm going to get a call and a workout, and I'll show them what I can do. But it feels good to just be able to play again and be back on the court, and now it's just a matter of climbing back up that mountain and proving to people that I can still do it."
Our sources say Davis -- the #3 overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft -- has been speaking with several squads who feel he could be a good backup for a young point guard. We're told the Clippers and the Cavs are among the playoff contenders interested in Davis ... with the Lakers also in the conversation. We're told so far ... there is NOT a deal in place, but that could change very soon.
Baron Davis is in talks to return to the NBA ... TMZ Sports has learned ... with sources telling us the 35-year-old has been in communication with multiple "playoff contenders." Davis -- a 2-time NBA All-Star -- hasn't played in the league since 2012 ... but we're told he's been keeping himself in shape and is serious about a return to the pros.
He is 35 now and hasn’t played in a game in more than two years, but Baron Davis insists he’s serious about a comeback in the NBA. Davis is in Las Vegas for summer league, just as he is every year. Only now, the former Cavs guard is looking for a job. Davis tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee during the New York Knicks’ playoff series against the Miami Heat two years ago. He’s still not 100 percent, labeling his health “somewhere in the 80s,” but believes he can contribute to a team and said he’d love to return to Cleveland. “Cleveland always has a special place in my heart because when I got traded there, people doubted whether I’d ever play and those fans embraced me and the organization embraced me,” Davis said. “At that time, I needed Cleveland more than Cleveland needed me.”
Jared Zwerling: When asked what offensive system he likes, Baron Davis said the Clippers & Warriors. Feels like he can play 15-20 minutes a game next year.
Storyline: Baron Davis Comeback?
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December 2, 2021 | 1:00 pm EST Update
Harden is taking only 14.4 shots per game, over two fewer than a year ago and a whopping 10 below his career high. (Tallying fewer than 20 points in a game isn’t the sole mark of irreversible decline, but it’s a neat round number Harden once crossed in his sleep. This season he’s failed to reach it 11 times in 21 tries. Last year it was 13. The season before? Seven. The two seasons combined prior to that? Six.) Thanks to the three-point line and some stellar work in isolation—albeit at half the volume of what it was just two seasons ago—Harden’s true shooting percentage is more or less very good (62.3% over the last 10 games). And after a slow start, he’s beginning to draw fouls and get to the line like he used to. His free-throw rate is one of this season’s 15 best, and the percentage of his points earned at the line jumped from 22.5 in Brooklyn’s first 10 games to 36.5 in 11 through 20—a mark that’s high even for him.
It’s worked so far. The Bulls are 14-8, tied for second place in the East, with top-10 ratings on both offense and defense. They’ve already beaten the Jazz, Nets, and Celtics, as well as both L.A. teams. And the revamped roster is clicking to the point that Chicago can dream about not just avoiding the play-in morass, but challenging for home-court advantage in the first round. “I’m always confident. I put the work in. But having [DeRozan] next to me, having Vooch next to me, Lonzo, that just makes me more confident and more ready to play,” LaVine said at the start of the season. He added, “We got a bunch of no. 1 options.”
That’s where the “tough-shot-maker” role comes in. Since the start of last season, LaVine’s 3-point accuracy is 8 percentage points higher than expected, based on factors like shot angle and defender distance. That’s the fifth-best mark out of 77 players with at least 400 3-point attempts in that span, per Second Spectrum, behind only Joe Harris, Curry, Joe Ingles, and Michael Porter Jr. “I’ve never played with a player like Zach before,” DeRozan said. “The things he’s capable of doing offensively is intimidating at times, how easy he can do the things he can do. It’s fun; it heightens my level to go out there and want to be neck and neck with him.”
This is a weird question to ask a guy who has won three championships, but are there times when you feel like you have to prove something as a coach? I know you don’t get up in the morning worried about that sort of thing, but do you ever ponder your coaching legacy and how people look at your part in this whole thing? Steve Kerr: I never lose any sleep over that. I count my blessings that I’ve been able to coach the players that I’ve coached and be in the organization that I’m in because I know how lucky I am. But part of what allowed me to stay in the NBA for 15 years as a player is that losing humiliates me, you know? My competitive desire drives me. But like a lot of players at this level, the fear of losing is an even bigger motivator. So even though I don’t stop and think about legacy or anything like that, I just want to f—— win, you know? It burns in me. I want to win so badly. It’s kind of how I’ve been since I was five years old, and Draymond’s the same way and Steph’s the same way and Klay’s the same way. And what I love is that collectively, we’re getting off the mat this year. And we’re saying, ‘All right, let’s get it. Let’s do it again.’ Whatever that means. Whatever people write. However people feel about us. The main thing is that we’re competing again and we’re enjoying the competition.
But isn’t there something there, internally, where you reassess? Steve Kerr: It’s great to be back in the mix. What I’ve learned, though, in five trips to the Finals, is that so much is just up in the air — circumstances you can’t control. I know it’s coach speak, but if we just come in every day and get our work in and enjoy the process, we’re going to win a ton of games. We’ve already proven that. We keep trying to get better, put ourselves in the best position possible. We think we can win a championship, but I’ve watched in the Finals. I’ve watched two guys get season-ending injuries. I watched Kevin Love and Kyrie (Irving) go down the first year we won (against Cleveland in 2015). I’ve seen everything. I saw as a Laker fan growing up, with Magic Johnson and Byron Scott holding their hamstrings (in) the Detroit series (in ’89). Just having watched this and been a part of it for so long, who the hell knows what’s going to happen? So you might as well enjoy it while it’s going.
If you go to the tail end of the Durant era, I think there was certainly a sense among people who were close to the team, and who would write about that culture of joy, that you guys may have lost it. So, do you feel like you lost it? Steve Kerr: I think the fifth year was so difficult — physically, spiritually, emotionally — but mainly because it’s just hard. And you can ask anybody from the Lakers and the Celtics in the 80s. You know, (ask) Phil Jackson or Gregg Popovich. When you do something year after year after year, it just gets to be (hard). And there’s a different sense of energy from, say, the first year to the fifth that was going to be there regardless of our personnel. I think we were exhausted organizationally. I think the players were exhausted. We lost two guys to devastating injuries in the (2019) Finals (Thompson and Durant). You almost can’t write a script like that, you know? And it was so brutal. But like I said, when you do something for that long, such a competitive emotional level — five years, and teams trying to knock you off and building their team to beat you, it’s exhausting. And I think we were all just exhausted.