With the additions of Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal, the Celtics boast one of the deepest front courts in the NBA, and once again Davis is relegated further down the bench.
For the fourth year forward-center, it's getting a little old.
"It's difficult," Davis said. "Because as a player you kind of don't understand where they're going, or how they're going, or what are they doing? No matter what I do - you know, I can play great - it's still not enough."
It seems as though Davis, who has always shown a lot of emotion on and off the court, takes the last two seasons' signings of Rasheed Wallace, and the O'Neal's personal.
"Coming into my second year, I did a really good job as far as becoming a better player," Davis said. "But it wasn't good enough for our team, so they went and got Rasheed Wallace. And I had to adjust again. Rasheed was more of the perimeter guy. I had to be more of the low block guy."
"You know I go from popping, hitting big shots to rolling to the basket a lot. That's what I needed to do for the team and that's what I did. Now this year we got fives [centers Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal], so I just have to know what my role is again this year."
What Davis fails to see is that his role on this team is quite defined actually: He's an energy guy. He does everything pretty well, and he does it with great energy and enthusiasm. What he isn't is a starter, although he'd like his role to be defined like the starters' roles on this team are.
"You want to know who you are on this team," Davis said. "[Rajon] Rondo knows he's the point guard. He's not going to go out there and try to score a thousand buckets. Ray [Allen] knows he's the shooter. Paul [Pierce] knows he's the three [small forward] guy. KG [Kevin Garnett], Perk [Kendrick Perkins], they all know their role. Their role has never changed since they've been on this team. My role has changed every year. So I just have to adjust again."
If Davis is going to play on contending teams for the rest of his career, he should get used to his role being defined as, well, undefined. Davis can't understand that his versatility and ability to play multiple positions multiple ways is something to be proud of. He will always be a superb player coming off the bench, but can he continue to accept that role?
This is a contract year for Davis, so it would make sense for him to want to see the court more. It is, after all, a business, and Davis didn't cash in the way he hoped he would prior to last season. That being said, he's not putting his own personal agenda ahead of the teams. So far, Davis has done pretty much all that has been asked of him, and claims that when he does in fact find his role on this year's team, he will accept it fully.
"The role that I would prefer to play is the role that they want me to play," Davis said. "If I have to pop, I'll pop. If I have to roll, I'll roll. Whatever I have to do I'm going to do it. That's what it's all about."
"Sacrificing yourself; sacrifice who you are for the greater good of the team. That's what I learned by playing with Doc and playing with all these veterans. I have to sacrifice myself in order to be a part of this team and I'm willing to do that."