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Davis is ready to move ahead

Clippers guard spends first day of camp discussing his past but is focusing on future.

October 01, 2008|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

Baron Davis, being an intuitive kind of guy, knew if there was one Warriors-related question, well, surely another was about to follow close behind on Tuesday.

He looked at his wrist.

So what if he wasn't wearing a watch?

Good one. That got the point across on opening day of Clippers training camp at Playa Vista. But if this was the first practice in his new Clippers life, there had to be a bit of housekeeping about his Warriors past.

That was only fair, really, to give Davis a shot at responding to his old friends. Especially given that his buddy and former Clipper and current Warrior Corey Maggette was offering some provocative quotes from Northern California, saying Davis was in for "a rude awakening" in Los Angeles.

Then there was Monday's San Jose Mercury News report saying that Davis and Warriors executive Chris Mullin had reached an agreement for a three-year, $39-million contract extension in June. Apparently the deal unraveled when Warriors President Robert Rowell refused to approve it, and the rest is history.

"Chris Mullin was always, like I say, as general manager, he was always in my corner," Davis said. "From the time I got there to our playoff run, he told me that he wanted me there as the future of the franchise and he wanted to keep me.

"I don't think that was his decision."

As for Maggette's comments, it sounded as though he wasn't telling the Bay Area media anything he hadn't already shared with Davis.

Davis said he had spoken to other Clippers before making his decision to sign with the team as a free agent and didn't want to dwell on Maggette's influence or lack thereof.

"We just kind of want to focus in on the positive," Davis said. "Whatever is said about me or to me, or directed to me . . . me and Corey, we're good friends. Whatever he said is what is in his brain or on his heart. I'm here. This is my focus."

Davis was dripping with sweat after the morning session.

"It was a good day," Davis said. "Any time in practice where you think you've got more time and practice is over, you know you've got a lot of good work in."

After the tumultuous summer, a semblance of order on the court was a nice change.

"Absolutely. I was saying that to Tim [Thomas] and Ricky Davis. You kind of wait all year, all summer for this, to get back in the swing of things," Davis said. "Every day, you're going to be at it. Some of the stuff that was put in today, if we can continue to just build on that, and develop our chemistry, we'll be all right."

The roster turnover -- 13 new faces on the 18-player camp roster -- has Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy changing his approach slightly.

"We don't have enough guys from last year who can really go through everything, like a couple of groups, smoothly," he said. "You've got to start out with demonstrations, walk through. This is what we do and go through it."


Eric Gordon's first day of training camp ended with the rookie guard spraining his right ankle, the mishap occurring in the night session. The Clippers' first-round draft choice this year (seventh overall) won't practice today and is listed as day-to-day. During summer league, Gordon suffered a left hamstring injury.


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