Stance has softened
Davis wants to stay
But Celtic may play overseas if no season
It seemed Glen Davis just couldn’t resist an opportunity to bond with a teammate, nearly three months after the Celtics’ disappointing playoff elimination by the Miami Heat.
On a sweltering afternoon at Malcolm X Park in Roxbury, a svelte Davis made an unexpected appearance at Rajon Rondo’s dedication of refurbished basketball courts yesterday.
Just before the ceremony was to begin, Davis approached and hugged Rondo, and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino insisted that he stay for the courts’ christening. Davis left soon thereafter, but his appearance could have been a sign that the strong sentiments about leaving Boston that he expressed in May have softened.
“Most definitely, that’s my No. 1 priority - see if I can come back here and play,’’ he said. “And if I can’t, go somewhere else.’’
His words were tamer than they were in May, when it appeared Davis had grown tired of coach Doc Rivers’s treatment.
“I think in a lot of situations you have to air things out,’’ said Davis, who because of the NBA lockout cannot have contact with the Celtics front office. “Especially with a player that’s growing. You’ve got to talk and clear things up, and I think that time will come whenever the opportunity comes. I’m just trying to focus on working out.’’
As an unrestricted free agent, Davis would have no restrictions if he decided to play overseas during the lockout. FIBA, the governing body of international basketball, has ruled that players who sign with overseas clubs while under NBA contracts must return to their teams once the lockout ends. That doesn’t apply to Davis, who said he is intrigued by the possibility of playing in Europe or Asia.
“I would definitely be interested, to get the experience and also to keep that edge,’’ he said. “I just really think a lot of guys over there love to play the game. It’s not about the money. It’s about playing the game that we love.’’
Rondo, meanwhile, strolled around the new courts and personally handed basketballs to children. He contributed $76,500 to the refurbishing efforts - $500 for each of his 153 steals last season.
The last time fans saw Rondo, he was wearing a massive wrap on his dislocated left elbow in Games 4 and 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. He said he now has full range of motion in the elbow but some swelling remains. He has not fully participated in basketball activities but has done some noncontact drills. Because of the lockout, Rondo is not allowed to consult with the Celtics medical staff.
“The elbow’s getting better - just got another check-up today on it,’’ he said. “I will continue to work hard. It’s just the swelling. I can bend it all the way out, so I’m fine.’’
Rondo also said he is planning to return to the University of Kentucky to complete his degree; he left for the 2006 NBA draft after two years. Rondo said he has 60 of the 100 hours required to graduate, and the injury and lockout have led him to seriously consider taking classes.
“Obviously, I got more time,’’ he said. “And I want to go back.’’
Gary Washburn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.