Over his five-season NBA career (and three season at LSU), Orlando Magic forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis has become particularly famous for being fairly overweight. While Davis carries his weight pretty well — he's mobile and athletic — he will never be the picture of the in-shape professional athlete. That's just who he is, I suppose, and anyone who works with him has probably gotten used to it by now.
However, new Orlando Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn has a different set of expectations for Davis. When the Magic report to training camp this fall, Vaughn expects him to be in much better shape. From Josh Robbins for The Orlando Sentinel (via SLAM):
What was Vaughn's message to Davis? "Just be ready," Davis recalled Thursday.
"Just making sure that you're ready. You're going to have the opportunity to be a contributor here. You're going to have the opportunity to do big things, and you just be ready, making sure that you come in [to training camp Oct. 1] the right way, in the right shape, and just holding me accountable." [...]
Davis entered last season's training camp, his first with the Magic, a bit out of shape after the five-month NBA lockout. One of his goals this offseason has been to improve his conditioning. [...]
"I called [Vaughn] a 'thirsty dog,' because I know he's been chomping at the bits to get on that level of coaching. Now he has the opportunity to do that. I'm blessed and fortunate to be in a situation to be his first pupil."
This might seem like a joke, because he was listed last season at a not-exactly-trim 289 pounds. And while that number is very high, it's not exactly atypical — it was his official mark in 2008-2009, as well. In fact, that means that Davis' weight probably holds steady in the official listings, and that 289 might even be a conservative figure. In which case, even at his most svelte, Davis is never going to be a physical specimen.
However, there are degrees of good shape for different body types, and all Vaughn means here is that he wants Davis to do his best. If he slacked, then it showed in his play. Being in shape or not isn't a binary situation — there's a continuum of health. Davis just needs to push himself as far to the healthy side as he can.
Oh, and Davis should also work on his similes, because I'm pretty sure he means "hungry dog."
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