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Ricky Davis Is Back As One of 10 Knicks Mini-Camp Hopefuls

If you’re not familiar, Ricky Davis played in the NBA from 1998-2010, and he’s basically J.R. Smith before J.R. Smith. The 6-6 Davis could score in a variety of ways and he was never afraid to show off that talent for droppin’ buckets. If you’re a fan of Smith, then you would have loved Davis in his prime. The 33-year-old is back though, and he might be joining his next generation iteration on the Knicks.

Jared Zwerling — now of Bleacher Report — announced over Twitter that Davis would be one of 10 invites to mini-camp with the Knicks today as a hopeful for training camp next month.

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Davis still has a long way to go after the mini-camp invite: he’ll have to play well enough to make the training camp roster, and then — if he continues to impress — a roster spot is possible. But that’s all at least a month away and there’s no way to know how much the ravages of time, and a misdiagnosed patellar tendon tear towards the end of his career, have done to a game predicated on his explosiveness.

If you don’t remember, Davis was the leading scorer on the last Cavaliers team (2002-03) before they drafted LeBron James. He only shot 41 percent from the field that year on his way to 20.6 PPG in almost 40 minutes a night, but he came on strong towards the end of the season.

Most casual NBA observers only remember Ricky Davis for his failed attempt to claim a triple-double that season. Towards the end of that miserable year, when the Cavs finished 17-65 under head coaches John Lucas and Keith Smart, Davis infamously tried shooting at his own basket to claim his first career triple-double.

With the Cavs leading the Jazz by 25 points and with just 6 seconds remaining, Davis — who had 26 points, 12 assists and 9 rebounds at this point — deliberately missed a layup on his own basket in order to grab that last rebound. But NBA rules stipulate that does not count as a rebound, and then-Jazz guard DeShawn Stevenson took offense at Davis’ cheap ploy to reach the milestone; after Davis collected the non-rebound, Stevenson fouled him hard. After the game, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said of Davis, “[I’m] glad DeShawn tried to knock him down” and if Sloan had been playing he “would’ve knocked him on his [rear].”

In Davis’ second-to-last game that season with the Cavs, he had 37 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists to again miss out on the triple-double. Unfortunately for the well-meaning Davis, his career has largely been cast in the shadow of that one stupid decision. It’s what he’s known for, rather than a respectable career shooting percentage of 44.6 percent and 36.1 percent from behind the 3-point line while playing for Miami, Charlotte, Boston, Minnesota and the Clippers over that 12-year career cut short by NBA doctor misdiagnosing a patellar tendon tear as simple tendinitis.

The excellent former New York Times scribe Jonathan Abrams profiled Davis in conjunction with Lance Stephenson for Grantland in April of this year, so that’s worth a read if you want a much more in-depth look at a misunderstood — but talented — player. We’ll have to see if Davis even gets a training camp invitation, but the thought of MWP, J.R. Smith and Ricky Davis all in the same Knicks camp is making us break out in a sweat.

What do you think?

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