BOSTON MA - DECEMBER 08: Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics consoles teammate Glen Davis #11 after Davis got in scuffle with Arron Afflalo of the Denver Nuggets on December 8 2010 at the TD Garden in Boston Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Nuggets 105-89. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this Photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
I'm afraid for the world's future, folks. Glen Davis has a daughter.
In all seriousness, Jessica Camerato wrote a phenomenal piece detailing the birth of Davis' daughter, and how it brought Davis a newfound sense of maturity. How has his daughter (named Amari) changed Davis?
I'll allow him to tell you.
"First of all, you have more of an animal instinct," Davis said. "It's like you're defending your cub. It comes to a point where this is your livelihood. You have to feed, and you think about it in that way. Then you think about it in a way like, 'How can I represent my child so when she looks back, she can be real proud of her father?'
"Just the mentality of being accountable, you have to be there. And that's how you have to be for your teammates. My daughter know what she's going to get from me every day. She's going to get love, affection, discipline. It relates to basketball in a lot of ways, and I've used the mentality I have with my daughter to help my basketball game."
Why it took having a daughter for Davis to be accountable on a basketball court, I'll never know. But his play has completely changed from last season to this one, that's easy to see.
Once upon a time (read: last year), Doc Rivers had no idea which Glen Davis would show up each night. Sometimes, there was Impact Davis. He would beat teams with his energy, pound them with his strength, and leave a thousand gallons of excited drool in his wake. Other times, there was Disappearing Davis. When the drool stopped flowing like wine (and the beautiful women stopped instinctively flocking like the salmon of Capistrano), Davis could vanish entirely. His consistency wasn't there.
Enter Amari (who -- though spelled differently -- will one day join the Knicks, wear goggles and shatter souls while dunking on unsuspecting opponents). I'm not a father, so I'm not going to pretend to know exactly how much fatherhood changes you. I just want to thank Amari for pounding some sense into her old man. Davis needed to grow up. Drunkenly punching his friend in the face (and missing 27 games as a result) wasn't cool. Telling a Detroit fan to do unseemly things wasn't cool. Playing with focus and a sense of purpose one night, and then none at all the following night, wasn't cool. Thankfully, Davis matured, both on and off the court.
Let's not forget Michael Finley's role in the transformation, either. Or at least the role played by Michael Finley's corpse, which, unfortunately, was the version of Finley who played for the Celtics last season.
"I'll never forget," he said, "Michael Finley told me right after dinner after Game Seven, 'Make sure in training camp, you need to establish yourself.' I took that with me through the whole summer -- 'Establish yourself. You need to be a force to be reckoned with.' " ...
"I thought about it," Davis recalled. "I was just like, 'I am. I am capable of being a post threat, being a outside shooter, being a really, really big factor on this team.' I felt like I didn't use all my talents to my advantage, so I always remembered that going into the summer."
So thank God for Amari, and for Michael Finley's decomposing yet wise bones. Without Glen Davis' maturation, I don't know what the Celtics' second unit would look like. But I do know this:
The thought is almost as scary as the thought of Glen Davis raising a little girl.