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April 02, 2012

Will unselfishness hold Anthony Davis back?

The New York Times has a story today about Anthony Davis, looking to project his abilities as a pro.

Davis, the Kentucky freshman who is projected to go in the top overall spot, which is coveted by the NBA-worst Bobcats and the rest of the teams hoping for the right ping-pong ball in the May 30 NBA draft lottery.

From the Times:

"He is the clear No. 1 pick in a deep and talented N.B.A. draft class. He is the most dominant player in college basketball. The question is not whether Davis will be a good pro — he is going to be a perennial All-Star — but whether he will become great the way Shaquille O’Neal and Tim Duncan were."

The biggest question from the Times? Whether Davis' unselfishness will keep him from realizing the full scope of his greatness.

Wouldn't Michael Jordan and the Bobcats love to find out?

Posted by Observer Sports on April 2, 2012 at 04:16 PM | Permalink


did it hold duncan back?

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 2, 2012 5:22:27 PM

Assigning greatness to a kid who's nineteen, and a freshman in college, is...pointless.

Davis plays team ball, and that's because he's really a two guard. I mean it. Davis was a shooting guard before he became 6'10".

He has the spatial acuity of a player who lives in the paint but whose mind is on the perimeter. And I don't mean that's where he longs to be. Much of successful shot-blocking is anticipation, feeling where the player is going to be at the point of release, and where your body is at that point in time. Davis sees that happen because his perspective is from the viewpoint of the shooter, and his body reacts to what he would be doing if he were the shooter.

What makes Davis a grade above all others is his tremendous ability to occupy space at the appropriate time. Tim Duncan is the epitome of this dynamic. But it took Duncan three years to develop his overall game and I suspect it'll take Davis that long, too, if not a little bit longer.

IF, Davis can stay healthy, he'll have a shot a franchise-type production some day. His body is still growing. Amazing. But I wouldn't dare label this kid a perennial All Star until he's had a chance to actually qualify for the game.

I hope the Bobcats get the chance to find out what kind of player Davis will become. I like team basketball.

Posted by: Bobby Sharpe | Apr 2, 2012 6:07:06 PM

+1 Bobby... great post.

Posted by: appstategrad2008 | Apr 2, 2012 6:46:33 PM

I agree Davis has a great skill set, but there is one problem. Regardless of what Kentucky and all the shills on TV are telling you, this guy is not 6-9 or 6-10. After the tourney win against Indiana, he was interviewed on court and was eye to eye with Clark Kellogg. Assuming Clark hasn't had a late growth spurt and doesn't wear lifts in his shoes, that would put Davis in the 6-7 range. He probably has the skills to play the 3 in the NBA, but that pretty much eliminates the shot-blocking factor. Not to mention we already have one defensive minded, shot-blocking, undersized post player in Biyombo.

Posted by: TP | Apr 2, 2012 7:16:12 PM

Easy to throw comparisons to guys like Duncan and O'Neal, both of whom spent a lot more time developing their games in college, and both of whom were MUCH BIGGER. Nobody wants to use a comparison that is probably more apt - Joe Smith.

Posted by: Be Careful | Apr 2, 2012 7:20:08 PM

Davis is the second coming of Marcus Camby!

Posted by: joe cool | Apr 2, 2012 9:29:58 PM

Yeah - Marcus Camby. Except for the fact that Camby is 4 inches taller.

Posted by: Be Careful | Apr 2, 2012 10:05:19 PM

With the Bobcat's luck and this ping pong crap you can pretty much count them out of drafting Davis.
That's not a bad thing. I think Davis is way overrated. He is undersized, young, and fragile looking. He will get pushed around in the paint and become another soft, brick shooting tall guy that plays out of position (Tyrus Thomas).

Posted by: D.W.G. | Apr 3, 2012 5:53:08 AM


Are you kidding? 6-7? Have you seen him stand next to his teammates who are listed at 6-7? Anybody who has played basketball in high school and/or college know that they do add an inch or 2 to your height but I don't think he is that much shorter than 6-10. Plus he is 19 and still growing so if he isn't already 6-10 he will be by the time he stops growing.

Posted by: DS | Apr 3, 2012 5:54:49 AM

That kid is a star. Anyone that cant see it probably thought that Cam Newton could not play either.

Posted by: Davey | Apr 3, 2012 7:38:49 AM

I think it's a given that Cats pick Davis if they win the lottery but anybody want to speculate how the picks will go if they get the 2,3, or 4 spot?

Posted by: bflobillz | Apr 3, 2012 8:29:21 AM

Yep, I saw him standing next to Kidd-Gilchrist, who is not even close to the 6-7 they list him at either. Look - I'm not denying the kid's skills. He's a great college player, but that skill set isn't going to fly at his height in the NBA. Maybe he will end up 6-10, who knows? I'm just saying that he isn't close now. Believe it or don't - whatever, but if you pay attention closely just before the draft you will start to see these guys real height when they get measured by teams working them out.

Posted by: TP | Apr 3, 2012 8:30:08 AM

Due to the fact that the NBA lottery is fixed and based upon the circumstances that surround this situation, the #1 overall pick will go to the......New Jersey Nets. Deron and Lopez resign. The Nets select Davis. Then with the pending move to Brooklyn the NBA has another big market team with drawing power.

Posted by: Sambo | Apr 3, 2012 9:03:29 AM

bflobillz said, "I think it's a given that Cats pick Davis if they win the lottery but anybody want to speculate how the picks will go if they get the 2,3, or 4 spot?"

Glad to finally see I'm not the only one talking about this. The Bobcats will not get the #1 pick. They never do, no matter how rotten they are. Minnesota is the only team that comes close to getting screwed by the lottery as much as the Bobcats - and at least they got Ricky Rubio.

The Bobcats will not get a ping-pong ball and will be stuck with the 4th pick. There will be 2 teams in the Western Conference with over .500 records but will not make the playoffs. Those 2 teams will get 2 of the top 3 picks. I'll bet the Wizards get the other one; they always seem to do quite well at this lottery thing.

Posted by: J | Apr 3, 2012 9:11:11 AM

Have watched Davis on numerous occasions and cant see what the big deal is. He was outplayed by T-Rob of Kansas who did not have the supporting cast the Davis has and was doubled teamed most of the night yet he put up more points and more rebounds than Davis. Bobcats do not need Davis his whole game is shot blocking and isnt that what Byombi is all about? I look at the na,mes of Davis, Sullinger & Robinson and only see them as serviceable NBA players and certainly not franchise players. Kidd Gilchrist would be a better pick for the Bobcats who could trade Kemba for a proven big. Backcourt of DJ Hendo and Kidd Gilchrist would allow us to matchup multiple ways.

Posted by: TrueBBallFan | Apr 3, 2012 10:02:17 AM

If the draft lottery is fixed then shouldn't it be the Bobcats turn? The Carolina's are an important market for the NBA. The Nets don't need a top pick.

Posted by: DS | Apr 3, 2012 10:05:51 AM

i think davis is legit and we need front court help more than anything. we have 4 solid backcourt players for next year assuming augustin is back on the QO. past that we have brown, biyombo, mullens and a huge question mark in tyrus thomas. we need mullens to step up big time and we need a legit 3 to start OR we need a guy that can play the 4 in a 3 man rotation with mullens, biyombo at the 4/5.

the good news is........having a top 4 pick will guarantee we will have a starting caliber talent available. it's just picking the right guy. let's hope cho can do that.

as bad as barnes played in the tourney, none of the other guys really separated themselves from him as being significantly better. I think it is an absolute toss-up after davis. i absolutely wouldn't take drummond unless you're picking 5th or 6th which won't happen for us. 2-4 has to be between barnes, kidd-gilchrist, and thomas robinson. anybody getting any of those guys outside of the top 4 is getting a steal. if mcadoo comes out which i doubt, he enters that picture as well. for as strong as this draft was supposed to be, it isn't looking as strong anymore.

too many blue chip prospects looked far less amazing. that's why davis has looked so good. sullinger, barnes, drummond, lamb....all those guys underwhelmed. chad ford has beal going #3. no knock on beal at all but that says something. i mean it says something to me when guys are debating between the starting go-to guys and guys that didn't even start.

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 3, 2012 11:14:19 AM


Brooklyn is a much more attractive market than Charlotte to the NBA. When you say the NBA needs the Charlotte market, do you mean it needs a team that is drain on the NBA and is bleeding money? Losing the lottery will just be another step towards contraction.

Posted by: Sambo | Apr 3, 2012 1:46:46 PM

It would be idiotic for the NBA to contract a team in the market that led the league in attendance for 8 straight years, and has since nearly doubled in metro-area size.

Only reason this franchise hasn't been a major success from the get-go was because of Bob Johnson. The franchise as a whole has improved big time since Jordan took over. Sure we have to rebuild right now, but that's inevitable. That happens to great franchises, ask the knicks. But ask any season ticket holder if the overall experience hasn't gotten a ton better over the past 3 years. the staff is better, smarter. The amenities at the arena are better.

We are almost out of the woods with all the dead weight contracts. 1 more year and that's done sans tyrus thomas but we still have the amnesty card there.

All we need is rod higgins to get S-canned and we're prime for a legit successful franchise to once again thrive in charlotte.

going with the cougars instead of bobcats might go a long way as well.

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 3, 2012 2:49:34 PM

Just a quick point here...love popping up from time to time to set the record straight...

Michael Jordan is a problem, not a solution. Those that say anything else are merely fans of him as a basketball player. Viewed objectively as an executive or owner, the guy is terrible, very mediocre at best. The only hope these guys have is Cho, simply because he's actually a good basketball mind, not a 'friend of MJ' - Higgins, Whitfield, etc - those guys are simply friends of Michael that are hanging onto the paycheck as long as MJ allows them.

Changing the name to Cougars, changing the menus at the concession stands...blahblah. You can put lipstick on a pig...

Put a winning team on the court. That's the one and only solution to being more than a forgotten and ignored franchise.

Posted by: BobsRealist | Apr 6, 2012 11:17:47 AM

you know i don't really care much about davis beacause the bobcats can get no worse than a 4th pick which includes some of the top scorer and that's we need. if they get the 1st pick then get Davis and not trade up for lower picks. but if we ended up with lower picks get davis' teammate.

Posted by: vinh | Apr 6, 2012 1:42:50 PM

Anyone questioning Davis's vertical presence in the nba is nuts. Whether he's 6'7" or 6'10", the split-second he leaves the floor and raises his hands, he is beyond everyone. His reach is immense. Gotta be one of the easiest alley oop targets I have ever seen. 4.5 blocks a game does not lie. Also, he has shown he can knock down outside shots. He just wasn't needed to that on Kentucky's fantastic team. Even IF he were only a defensive specialist, there's nothing wrong with having more of that. Complaining he doesn't fit with Biyombo reminds me of the time people were concerned that drafting Derrick Rose would interfere with Ray Felton's playing time. What a joke.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Apr 7, 2012 3:38:49 AM

If we get lower than pick 1, take a serious look at trading down for two picks. You might even be able to get Barnes 5-10, and then ANOTHER guy. Maybe even another Heel. Yeah, getting 2 Heels stunk in '05, but this group of Tar Heels has more appropriate nba size/length than that bunch did. I think Tyler Zeller would be a nice low lottery pick up, and he would be a near perfect compliment to Biyombo for the long haul. They are both 4/5's in the league with very different skill sets from each other.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Apr 7, 2012 3:46:10 AM

I say we sign Gerald green next year, who's a FA and draft Davis at no.1. If we don't get get no.1, then trade it for two picks in the draft. This draft class is the deepest in years with quality players from 1 to 25.

Posted by: Bobcatsfan | Apr 8, 2012 11:09:53 PM

Bobs won't get the #1 pick. The lottery is rigged.

Posted by: Sambo | Apr 9, 2012 8:24:18 AM

1. David
2. Kidd
3. Robinson
4...we choose stupidly is my fear.

Just say no to Drummond or Barnes. They won't deliver squat.

And starting to agree with Michael comments. Half time now has Zumba and jazzercise?? how cheap have we gotten.

Please get rid of anyone on the team for draft picks and then draft well and spend to get some free agents and let's at least roll.

Personally team was at least exciting with gerald and nearly making playoffs.

Posted by: Chris | Apr 9, 2012 4:16:23 PM

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