Vinny Del Negro’s first order of business, as the coach of the star-crossed Clippers, was to inform the world that he’s unhappy with his point guard’s shape and conditioning. Vinny’s apparently not the type to ease into things.
There were rumors this summer that Baron Davis’ weight had ballooned out of control (some had him listed at an incredible 260 pounds). Del Negro wouldn’t go that far, but he did not mince words when addressing the local media about Baron’s conditioning — or lack thereof.
From the LA Times:
The candor was almost startling on Monday at media day. New Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro wasn’t even five minutes into his first session with reporters when he expressed concern about the shape of veteran point guard Baron Davis. So, how far off is Davis?
“Percentage-wise, I’d be guessing,” Del Negro said. “He’s put in a lot of work in the last month or so. He started a little bit later probably than he needed to. He’s in pretty good shape right now, but he’s not where he needs to be. He knows that. Obviously, you want everybody in perfect condition. You have to come in training camp in shape. And the job in training camp is to get into better shape.”
As the article points out, this was a premeditated act on behalf of the organization; Vinny Del Negro was simply the messenger, whose job was to let Davis — the team’s highest paid player — know that no one is happy with where he is physically.
The press in LA claims this represents a change in culture for the Clippers, one in which all players will be held accountable. That remains to be seen, of course.
Each year, we hear that things will be better in Clipper-land; the problem is in that ever actually coming true.