Glen Davis’s NBA career and legacy are more remembered for making headlines for negative reasons. From on-court shenanigans to off-court troubles and controversial statements, “Big Baby” really lived up to his nickname during and after his career. But if you look aside all the outside stuff, Glen Davis was a really talented basketball player.
Sure he was far from the perfect psychical specimen with his 6’9”, 290 lbs frame, but Davis knew how to make it work. He was pretty agile and strong for a guy that size, using that combination to punish matchups. When you add in the soft touch, “Big Baby” was a really valuable offensive player. If he committed more to be in shape and getting that athletic ability up, his career would have been definitely longer and better.
But “Big Baby” never had the work ethic, as he stayed a role player through the better part of his career. But during his tenure with the Boston Celtics, Davis would play a major role in a couple of deep playoff runs and even win a ring in 2008. “Big Baby’s” most notable performance would come in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, with the Celtics down 2-1 to the Lakers and desperate for a win to get them back.
Things weren’t looking too good for the C’s, as Kobe Bryant got hot and looked ready to take over the tight game in the 4th quarter. But the Celtics bench mob led by Davis had other plans. Glen already had a good game, bringing effort and energy off the bench, outworking Odom and Bynum on the block. Doc Rivers ran with a lineup of Nate Robinson, Tony Allen, Ray Allen, Glen Davis, and Rasheed Wallace, leaving the stars Rondo, Pierce, and Garnett on the bench.
The five would click and take command of the game, led by Glen Davis dominating the paint. It would give the Celtics a huge boost and comfortable double-digit lead when the starters came in to finish the job. It was the perfect performance you want from your bench, with who other than “Big Baby” leading the way with 18 points and 5 rebounds on 70% shooting in just 22 minutes. His mentor KG would cheer him on with enthusiasm from the bench and show no sign of egoism, letting his back-up take over and win the game.
The Celtics would tie the series at 2-2, but in the end, it would be the Lakers prevailing and taking the championship in the iconic Game 7 in Staples, with Kobe Bryant taking home Finals MVP honors. It was a tremendous and exciting series that proved that even the most unexpected role players can come out and win you a game on the biggest stage. After all, it’s a team sport.