Baron Davis, as only an adept point guard can do, grabbed the conversation and revealed the depth of his frustration since becoming a Clipper.
Davis said before Wednesday's 93-85 loss to Portland, the Clippers' sixth straight, that he once might have handled differences about his place in the organization and former general manager-coach Mike Dunleavy much differently.
"The younger Baron definitely would have said something," he said. "Yeah. I probably would have asked for a way out, looked for the easiest way out."
This was said without rancor, and Davis was largely smiling and upbeat about the future. This came minutes before former Clippers' Marcus Camby's return with Portland. Camby had two points and nine rebounds before leaving the game as a precaution for his strained right hamstring.
As for Davis, he had been giving a state of the union address. So, what now, for Davis and the lottery-bound 27-51 Clippers?
"I just don't want this to be like a second-chance place," Davis said. "...I want this to be a place where people want to come and play. If I'm allowed to lead this franchise and this organization the way I see fit, hopefully we'll make a run."
But he didn't sound convinced he'd have a chance to lead, several times saying, "If I'm allowed to."
"Last year was kind of Dunleavy's thing," he said. "This year was [ Chris] Kaman's team, so hope that next year they'll give me a chance to put my full thing on display."
And it was his gut feeling that Bobcats Coach Larry Brown would not be the Clippers' future coach. He had words of praise for interim Coach Kim Hughes and assistant John Lucas.
Hughes "will tell you exactly how he feels and he don't sugarcoat it.... And I don't think the players were used to that as a team."