WRAL Sports Fan highlights some rather pointed and borderline cocky statements from Ed Davis following his working with the Indiana Pacers:
"When it comes to long and athletic big men, I'm the best in the draft," Davis told the paper. "Whatever team drafts me, I'm going to play up to my potential."
It's hard to tell if he's coming off as confident or cocky without the audio and video. But even if he's just speaking confidently it's probably not accurate. Derrick Favors, DeMarcus Cousins, Greg Monroe, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Cole Aldrich might have an argument with that.
Davis is also getting pretty tired of hearing that he isn't a guy that can come in and contribute right away.
"Those guys, they do their job, they're not coaches and they do mock drafts for a reason," Davis said. "If the coaching staff feels I need to wait or I can play right away, that's what I go by. Their opinion doesn't mean anything."
He's not really a believer that he's got some work to do before his offensive game is NBA-ready.
If there were PR lessons taught to players at UNC, it is clear Davis did not listen to them. I agree with Tim Hall here that sans the audio/video it is tough tell whether Davis is simply being confident or cocky. Hall is also correct that there are at least five other big men who are considered better prospects than Davis right now. The injury has a factor in that but so does Davis' inconsistency during his sophomore season at UNC.
Davis is calling out the media for not being high on him and says "they are not coaches." Fair enough. They are not coaches so they have not seen workouts but what they saw on the court last season was not the same was what they saw from Aminu or Cousins or Favors, etc, etc. That is the only body of work they have to do on. Toss the wrist injury in and from where I sit the criticism is well founded.
My advice to Davis is to keep quiet and let your game do the talking. As the old cliche says "actions speak louder than words." Or simply do what you said Tyler Hansbrough does. Keep it short. Don't be that guy who calls out the media for doing their job. Will their be unfair criticisms? Sure. In this case I am not convinced they are that unfair. Even if they were, the motivation should still be to answer them on the court not in an interview.
[UPDATE]: Additional quote from the original article:
Don't expect a finished product on the offensive end of the court, though.
He played out of position as a back-to-the-basket big man at North Carolina. He's better suited in a system that allows him to face up to the basket.
Davis spent plenty of time showing off his midrange game to the Pacers. He also needs to get stronger to bang with the power forwards in the NBA.
"People think I can't shoot," he said. "I have a nice jump shot and nice touch around the basket; so guys have to respect that . . . I'll continue to get stronger, but I'm not saying I want to put on 20 pounds."
I seem to recall Davis having ample opportunities to show a face-up game and it did not end well. The instances I recall of him shooting mid-range jumpers usually resulted in misses. I also sense a hint of a "if Davis' offensive game is not ready it's Roy's fault for not using him correctly" meme here. Not sure if that is media opinion or Davis thinks that too.
Of course we probably should cut Davis some slack here. Obviously he needs to sell himself to get drafted. Ty Lawson did the same thing by calling himself a great defender in 2008 when there was plenty of evidence throughout the prior season that he was disinterested in playing defense far too often. Still, I think Davis should show a little more savvy when making comments to the media.