Ed Davis is by no means a superstar. What he is is a very, very good role player, an expert in the art of rebounding ... and a winner. As he’ll tell you, he’s made the playoffs five of the eight years he’s been in the league. But there’s more to Davis than numbers —his rebound rate or times in the post-season. He is a presence, that hard-to-define quality that gets people to turn their eyes to him when he enters a room, particularly a locker room.
And in the months since he signed with the Nets (on a one-year $4.4 million deal), his teammates have gotten to see a touch of that and appreciate it.
“A guy like Ed Davis that I see every day in pickup now, the guy does little things,” said DeMarre Carroll. “Things that people, all the fans, are not going to be like, ‘hey, he’s scoring all the points.’ But he’s going to set the great picks. Screen and get a guy like Caris (LeVert) open, (D’Angelo Russell) open. He’s going to grab a big-time rebound for us in a big-time game.”
“Ed Davis. Playing against him, scrimmaging against him,” said Jarrett Allen. He’s a great rebounder and that’s an area I need to improve on, so I’m trying to take little stuff form him and add it to my game.”
“Ed, he’s a prototypical five,” said Caris LeVert. ”He screens very well. He finishes everything down low. Low-maintenance. Doesn’t really need the ball. Just wants players around him to be better. He’s a great teammate for sure. I can’t wait to play with Ed.”
And Alan Williams, who knows a bit about rebounding, said he learned the trade in part by watching video of Davis’ technique while in college at UC Santa Barbara!
Davis talked about what he can do in general terms, saying simply, “I am a mature, focused player” ... and added his thoughts on why the Nets collapsed in late game situations last season and how he can help.
“I’m just going to play hard every night. I’m not looking at how many minutes I’m going to play and all that,” he told media Monday. “I’m just here to help this team win games and get better. And that rebounding thing, that’s just what I do. It’s second nature to me.
“I definitely feel I have a role here and I’m definitely going to help this team.” he added. “I’m definitely going to be effective when I’m out there.”
Davis, who describes himself as a “student of the game” who watches a lot of games, said there were things he liked when watching the Nets, but...
“They play hard every night. They were in a lot of games, gave up a lot of games at the end. That’s what teams that struggle in this league. That’s what they do,” he observed.
So how can be changed? First, he laid out the issue.
“Say last year they lost 10 games in the last three minutes. You take those 10 games, you win seven or eight of them, it’s a totally different season.”
Then, he talked about how he can help.
“I bring a winning mindset,” he noted. “I got to the playoffs five of my eight years, won in college (an NCAA championship with North Carolina), won in high school (two Virginia state championships).”
“That winning attitude helps because a lot of guys in this league, and probably on this team, really haven’t won before. So they don’t even know what it takes to win and I’m going to bring that attitude. It starts in pick-up (games). It starts in the weight room. It starts in practice. Just that mindset.”
Davis spoke as well as recruiting Blazer teammate Shabazz Napier.
“I hit Shabazz up to see where he was in free agency and he told me Brooklyn was an option,” Davis recalled. “And I was like ‘you need to come’ because me and Shabazz played a lot on that second unit in Portland.”
Asked how much he appreciates his reputation as a solid professional, Davis responded, “I carry myself every day as ‘I’m going to respect you every day so I want you to respect me.’ That’s how I raised my kids and that’s how I was raised. So it means a lot.”
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