Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Baron Of Clipperland

Illustration for article titled The Baron Of Clipperland

Baron Davis will do anything for love, but he won't do that. And by "that" I mean "be low-balled by the Golden State Warriors." Even if it means jumping ship and joining his hometown Clippers.


Your bionic eyes are not malfunctioning. You read that correctly.

Although it can't become official until July 9th - the first day NBA teams can officially complete free-agent deals and trades after the league-wide moratorium on roster moves is lifted — Boom-Dizzle and his mighty beard are headed for Clipperland.

Said Davis: "It's tough, but you have to do what's best, You have to do what's fair. I'm happy with where I'm going. A big reason is because of the impact and the things that I can do going forward. I knew I could have done them here and created all kinds of good things and positive things in the community, and ultimately, me going home helps me make an impact on young kids."

Blah, blah, blah. Kids, schmids. The biggest reason for B-Diddy's change of heart is the impact on his wallet: The Clippers are offering him a five-year, $65 million deal. And that kind of guaranteed, long-term security is tough to pass up. Especially for a player who, in the past, has displayed all the durability of a delicate stained glass window. And the fact of the matter is, the Warriors weren't willing to offer him that security.

This is how Davis' agent Todd Ramasar put it: "I'm sure a lot of people were surprised yesterday when Baron opted out, but it was done with the idea that the Warriors would come back with something else. We still expected a discussion for Baron to remain a Warrior. He had a great run with the Warriors. That had become home for him. ... [But] this is about having the best team in place, especially at this point in his career. Baron just wants to win. He has a chance to do something special with the Clippers and come back home."

Baron just wants to win...yeah, right. Look, I may have flunked second grade math, but even I know this: Nobody who wants to win chooses to play for the Los Angeles Clippers. That would be saying you went on Fear Factor and ate sheep testicles because you want to be President.


Here are the immediate implications of Baron's decision: First, the Clippers are much more likely to re-sign Elton Brand, who has stated he won't commit to more time in hell without some "established help." However, that would mean the end of the Corey Maggette Era in L.A., because the Clippers don't have the moolah to sign Davis, Brand and Maggette...and Maggette would definitely be the odd man out in that scenario.

The Warriors, meanwhile, are going to become much, much worse. They extended a five-year, $100 million contract offer to Gilbert Arenas. But Washington can offer Agent Zero more years and more zeros, so you can probably expect him to stay put, particularly since Antawn Jamison just agreed to a $50 million contract extension with the Wizards and said: "With Gilbert coming back and Gilbert being 100 percent healthy, we are one of the most dangerous teams in the NBA." Sure sounds like Antawn knows something we don't know.


Despite his newfound financial freedom, Davis is all emotional about leaving the city he helped bring back from the dead. "If it wasn't for the Bay Area, I don't know where I would be. When I came from New Orleans, I was injured. I didn't know if I would ever be able to really reclaim any type of basketball prowess, and from the time I walked to that table against the Detroit Pistons (for the first game), I always knew that I could accomplish anything here. I wanted to be here for a long time. I still consider this home. The fans have done nothing but encourage, congratulate and support everything that I've ever done. I just took what was best for me." Who ever knew that becoming a Clipper was the "best thing" for anybody.

Other random notes: It looks like Chris Paul is going to sign an extension with the Hornets, for anywhere from three to five years and for $60 million to more than $80 million. The Sacramento Kings are going to hold on to Beno Udrih for five years at the full mid-level exception. And Brent Barry opted out of his contract with the Spurs...destination unknown.