Veteran New York Knicks guard Baron Davis may have played his final game in the Association on Sunday, as the “New York Post” has reported that he underwent such extensive damage to his right knee during the third quarter of the Knicks win over the Miami Heat, that he will be out for all of next season.
The veteran will have surgery on his knee performed this week, as he suffered a partial tear of his patella tendon and completely ripped his ACL and MCL; injuries that would be tough for a much younger player to overcome. At the age of 32 and having played in 13 seasons in the NBA, the point guard could very well decide to hang up his sneakers for good.
The number three pick by the then Charlotte Hornets in the 1999 NBA Draft, came into the current campaign with a herniated disc in his lower back; which caused him to be waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers via the NBA Amnesty Clause. He would soon sign as a Free Agent with New York, expecting to become the starter for the squad when he recovered from the injury. That was not to be as by the time Davis hit the hardwood, Jeremy Lin had captured the starting role as well as the hearts of Knicks fans. Davis would become the starter on March 24, after Lin had to have knee surgery.
The point guard played his first six seasons with the Hornets and went through the move with the team from Charlotte to their current home in New Orleans. He had a very strong relationship with his head coach Paul Silas and had some great seasons in a Hornets uniform; the best during the 2003-2004 campaign, when he averaged 22.9 points, 7.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds per contest.
He would move on to the Golden State Warriors as he helped lead the club to the Playoffs during the 2007-2008 season as he averaged 21.8 points, 7.6 assists and 4.7 rebounds. The team would upset the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the Post Season and brought back excitement to the Bay Area about the Warriors for the first time in years. Unfortunately for the fans and the team; Davis and then head coach Don Nelson had a falling out and he opted out of the final year of his contract.
Davis got a verbal committment from Los Angeles Clipper power forward Elton Brand that he would re-sign with the team if the point guard signed a contract with the club. Davis signed on for a long-term pact; however Brand in an eleventh-hour decision chose to ink a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. Circumstances never worked out the way the guard had envisioned with the Clippers and in February of 2011 he was traded along with the team’s first round pick in last June’s NBA Draft to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Mo Williams. That draft pick would end up being the number one pick, which Cleveland used to get Kyrie Irving; who most likely will be named NBA Rookie Of The Year later this week.
His production began to ebb when he signed with Los Angeles, so his career averages are not reflective of the All-Star player he was earlier in his career. Davis has averaged 16.1 points, 7.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds during his 13 seasons in the Association; it remains to be seen whether those will be his final career numbers.