On Friday night, the Orlando Magic endured their first crisis of the season. To be expected during a period of steady growth for sure, but the fact that it happened off of the basketball court was the most concerning part. Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis, the Magic’s starting power forward, who is currently injured, was involved in an incident in a Travelodge Motel only a mile away from the team’s home, the Amway Center. The details are not important, all that needs to be known is that Davis flew into a rage when told the motel was booked out for the night, and that his reaction to this news was to tear a keyboard from a computer. Said keyboard was then flung against a wall. Also worth noting is the fact Davis was not arrested after he created the commotion at around 4am. This may yet have bigger implications though both for himself and the franchise that pays his wages.
Glen Davis is a character, people around the league know that. The forward, who has always been a little on the doughy side, is a bread and butter type of player, somebody who plays the fundamentals of the game well. Although not the tallest for his position, his physical strength allows him to make some noise in the paint. His dependable mid-range jump shot adds a bit of variation to his offensive set, although at times he can be a liability when the team is trying to defend. The Magic’s surprisingly decent start to the season was supposed to be bolstered further by the return of Davis to the fold. There was no definitive time for his return, but the team knew that on the floor, but perhaps more importantly in the locker room, the twenty-seven year old could make an impression on the considerable youth within the team. He would add steel and experience to a group that could do with a little more of that right now. So this act of silly rashness would not have been welcomed, especially when you take into account Davis is also the co-captain of the team, along with the very PR friendly Jameer Nelson. Bumps on the road occur for every team, but the Magic are now faced with a dilemma. Keeping Davis may not have happened anyway given the direction the team is going in, but now it seems less likely he will play in Orlando again. This may seem like overreacting to what was something that was not that big of a deal anyway, but the organisation would be wise to nip this in the bud early. After all, the most recent team loaded with youth and potential, the Washington Wizards, began to turn rotten once players like Gilbert Arenas got into the locker room and started making a negative impression on the youngsters there.
Whatever happens next, Davis has done all he can by sending out a statement claiming he is sorry the incident ever happened. He surely is, but the fact is that it did happen, and unfortunately for him, in a world of twenty four-seven news and a nickname like ‘Big Baby,’ the headlines are going to write themselves. On a more positive note for himself personally, he is the kind of player that would make most rosters in the NBA given what he can bring to a team. The term ‘instant offense’ doesn’t exactly come to mind, but he could bring a certain energy off the bench to a number of teams in the league. Add to that the fact there are far worse troublemakers still operating in the league today, and Davis’ career isn’t over or anything like that. With the Magic currently in the midst of a three game losing streak however, and their first truly testing time as a group, Davis’ outburst really couldn’t have come at a much worse time. He’ll be forgiven, these are the fans who had to put up with the antics of Dwight Howard after all, but perhaps cutting ties sooner rather than later would be best for the Orlando Magic at this point.