Friday, January 20, 2006

Davis To Miss Five Games; Knicks Teammates Jealous

On Thursday, the NBA suspended New York Knicks forward Antonio Davis five games for entering the stands during Wednesday’s game in Chicago.  The suspension began with last night’s 105-79 home loss to Detroit.  Teammates on the 13-25 Knicks are united in how they view Davis’s absence from the team.  They are enormously jealous.



The incident occurred during overtime of New York’s 116-114 loss to the Bulls.  Davis entered the stands as his wife Kendra was seemingly in a confrontation with a nearby fan.  He remained calm as the potentially explosive situation was defused.  However, while acknowledging Davis’s restraint, the league office emphasized that no player may enter the stands under any circumstances.  An NBA spokesman commented, “David Stern has been entrusted with maintaining the integrity of the game.”  He added, “The only thing the commissioner has failed to maintain is the ability of our players to hit a mid-range jump shot.”



Reports have surfaced today that Davis staged the incident to intentionally get away from his lowly team for a few games.  With the game in Chicago, Davis hired an improv performer from the city’s famed Second City troupe to put on the scene with his wife.  Michael Axelrod, the performer in question, asked nearby spectators for an occupation, an everyday household object, and a family vacation destination before commencing the argument with Mrs. Davis.  As he was led away by security, Axelrod shouted, “And blackout!”



Disgusted by New York’s horrendous season, Davis apparently used his own improv background to conceive of a way to escape the misery for a few games.  After beginning his career in Indiana, Davis has insisted on playing in cities where improv has a strong foothold – Toronto, Chicago, and New York.  He considered backing out on the scheme after scoring a season-high 16 points against the Bulls.  However, as he saw Axelrod and his wife performing the scene as planned, he knew he had to enter the stands.  No performer worth his salt can miss his cue.  Davis had no intention of inflicting physical harm, unless Axelrod tried to hog the scene to himself and failed to give Mrs. Davis a chance to shine.



Knicks teammates are admitting that Davis had a brilliant plan and wished that they had conceived it themselves.  “That’s the way to go – head into the seats, so they have to suspend you, but don’t hurt anyone,” commented one player.  He added, “Nobody wants to miss the whole season like Ron Artest, but I’d kill for a few games off from the losing.”  Davis ingeniously arranged matters so that his first game off was an inevitable pounding from the Pistons, leading another teammate to call him “a rebounding Einstein.”



Look for players from other downtrodden teams to draw inspiration from Davis.  After the opening tip of an upcoming game in Atlanta, do not be surprised if three Hawks starters simultaneously dash into the stands in quest of two weeks off from defeat.  The Portland Trail Blazers will also have players joining the spectators.  However, this activity has already been taking place.  For years, Trail Blazers have commonly wandered up the aisles in search of quality reefer.



Davis has used the NBA’s prohibition on entering the stands to his advantage.  Now he has a well-earned break until the Knicks’ January 30 matchup in Atlanta.  It is clear that his incident is in no way comparable to last year’s ugly scene in Auburn Hills.  After all, Ron Artest had no improv training.