When the Blazers/Clippers deal for Marcus Camby became official earlier today, it may have signaled the end of Ricky Davis‘ NBA career.
Having acquired Travis Outlaw to go alongside wing players Eric Gordon, Rasual Butler, Al Thornton and Mardy Collins, as well as backup PG Steve Blake, the Clips needed to clear room on the roster and waived Ricky Buckets. The 12-year vet had made two starts for an injury-racked L.A. squad this year, and was averaging 4.4 points in 14 minutes a night, a big drop-off for a guy who used to put up 19-20 points a night.
If this is Ricky’s last stop in the League, it marks the end of one of the strangest careers we’ve seen in the last decade. Davis had the talent to be an All-Star; he had the athleticism and creativity to be a dunk contest champ; he had the fire and toughness to be the leader of a good team. And he never accomplished any of those things.
Instead, Ricky will always be known as — depending on who you ask — a jacker, a stat pig, a malcontent/cancer in the locker room, a career loser, and an overall disappointment who didn’t play up to his potential. Davis was a headliner on some of the worst NBA teams of the 2000’s decade. His most famous play was shooting at his own basket and missing on purpose so he could get the clinching rebound of a triple-double. And as the story goes, despite dropping 20-5-5 numbers (20.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 5.5 apg) with the Cavaliers in ’02-03, Davis was traded midway through LeBron‘s rookie year because the organization was worried he would poison its young franchise superstar.
Ricky can still play NBA-caliber ball. He scored in double figures four times this season, and in a close loss to Cleveland a few weeks ago, he was assigned to guard LeBron on some crucial late-game possessions. And he’s only 30 years old. I could see somebody picking him up — a team needing some scoring punch off the bench for cheap — but his reputation will be his biggest hurdle.
How will you remember Ricky Davis’ NBA career?