DON'T CALL HIM CENTER
This is an article from the June 11, 2012 issue
The likely NBA No. 1 overall pick averaged 4.7 blocks per game for NCAA champion Kentucky last season, but he doesn't want to be pigeonholed when it comes to his position in the NBA
DAN PATRICK:Clear up some controversy. There was a photo of you in a Hornets hat taken before the lottery.
ANTHONY DAVIS: It was a Charlotte Hornets hat, not New Orleans. I went old school.
DP:Were you playing both sides in case the Charlotte Bobcats or the Hornets won the lottery?
AD: Not at all. It just went with the polo I had on.
DP:Were you nervous the night of the lottery?
AD: I was very nervous just to be a part of it. I wasn't nervous about the teams.
DP:Have you heard from the Hornets yet?
DP:You have to start looking at houses and getting organized.
AD: I know. I've been putting things aside. Just trying to get in the gym and make sure I'm ready.
DP:Will your mother move with you to New Orleans?
AD: No, she has to stay in Chicago. I might let her get a house down there. But that's too close. We're not that far—always a plane ride away.
DP:Who was your team growing up?
AD: Chicago Bulls. I'm from Chicago. Michael Jordan was on the team.
DP:Are you disappointed you're not going to play for Jordan's Bobcats?
AD: [There was] a lot of disappointment inside my family. My mom wanted me to go to Charlotte. I have a lot of good friends in Charlotte. It wasn't my call. We'll have to move on and make the best out of New Orleans.
DP:Did you tell Kentucky coach John Calipari you were going to go pro or did he tell you?
AD: He told me. He told me to [come into his office]. When I walked in, first thing he said: "Look, Ant, you have to leave. You did too many great things this year. Won a national championship, got every award. There's no point in you coming back." I started laughing. But he had no smile on his face. He was dead serious.
DP:Did you want to stay at Kentucky?
AD: I wanted to stay. Great team, great coach. But the way life is, you have to move on.
DP:You were listed as a forward on Kentucky's roster last season.
DP:There were no centers on the roster. How can that be?
AD: We don't have center attributes. We did a lot of dribble-drives. So we can all shoot the ball and dribble.
DP:What will you be listed as in the NBA?
AD: Probably forward.
DP:Who are you looking forward to playing against in the NBA?
AD: One of my [Kentucky] teammates. It'd be a great opportunity to reunite with them.
DP:You were only at Kentucky one year. You can't have that many guys to play against. Don't you want to face LeBron James or Kobe Bryant?
AD: Probably Kobe. He's a monster. I want to go out there and try my hardest. A lot of guys can't stop Kobe. I want to be one of the guys who can say I shut Kobe down.
DP:Be careful what you ask for. He'll probably see this.
AD: Tell him I'll be waiting.
GUEST SHOTS SAY WHAT?
I asked recently retired Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood what he would say to Steve Bartman if he ran into him today. "Sorry," said Wood, who was on the Cubs for their infamous 2003 NLCS loss to the Marlins . "I respect the fact that he has never tried to make money off it. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time." ... White Sox manager Robin Ventura told me his relationship with Rangers president Nolan Ryan has improved since their 1993 fight. "Everybody moves on," Ventura said. "He did want to see if I wanted to trade [pitcher] John Danks. I wouldn't do that." ... Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro thinks critics are unfair to his star forward, Blake Griffin. "People tend to forget this is his second year," Del Negro told me. "The expectations are high because they see what he's physically able to do. Give the kid a little time." ... NBC analyst Mike Milbury told me that since the 2004--05 NHL lockout, the sport's rules favor the offense, but most teams don't take advantage. "Coaches try to strangle the game," Milbury said. "They want to control the game from a defensive perspective."