The trade that sent Baron Davis to Cleveland had to happen. If you’ve followed his acrimonious relationship with Clippers owner Donald Sterling, then you knew that a deal had to be in the works. If you’ve followed the mocking and jeering from Sterling at mid-court, then you knew that the move to ship Davis to Cleveland is the equivalent of being sent to the fifth ring of hell. OK, that might be a bit harsh, but call it what it is. The Clippers weren’t taking over the NBA Western Conference anytime soon, but you at least had Davis’ tag-team partnership with Blake Griffin. He had the premiere breakthrough player to work with … until he didn’t.
Davis’ best moment of his Clippers’ tenure, his connection-building work in Hollywood notwithstanding, was his work in the Slam Dunk Contest. His flip to Griffin through the sunroof of the Kia stands as a milestone moment (a “Jump the Shark” moment in my book) and will be shown on highlight reels forever. I though he left it a little low, but that’s just me. We’ll be forever reminded of the beard and its impact on the Los Angeles stage.
We’ll just wonder what might have been if Davis had reported in shape and brought maximum effort to the table each night.