|Monday, March 17
Cavs: Davis' embarrassment punishment enough
"The deed is done," Smart said after a morning practice. "What good would it do to slap him on the wrist? He has to live with what he did. Wherever he goes, people will remember it."
Davis attempted to pad his statistics during a 122-95 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday. To get his first career triple-double in the final seconds of the lowly Cavs' biggest win of the season, Davis purposely missed a shot at the wrong basket and grabbed the rebound, thinking it was his 10th.
Davis, the team's scoring leader, was fouled hard by the Jazz's DeShawn Stevenson, angered that his club was being mocked. Davis made the two free throws to finish with 28 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.
"No comment," the usually exuberant Davis said as he left practice Monday.
Davis apparently did not know that his stunt backfired even without Stevenson fouling him. The rulebook states: "It is a violation for a player to attempt a field goal at an opponent's basket. The opposing team gets the ball."
Davis did not get a shot attempt or his rebound.
"I talked with Ricky after the game," Smart said. "The thing is, one tiny moment ruined the team's most successful game. Ricky had his finest game as far as blending in with his teammates. None of that will be remembered, but what he did will follow him always."
Smart said he and Cavaliers players were embarrassed.
"I felt very, very bad and before Ricky shot the free throws -- I went and apologized," said Smart, who walked over to an incensed Utah coach Jerry Sloan.
Davis signed a six-year, $34 million contract before the season. The 6-foot-7 guard is averaging 20.7 points and is the first player in team history to record three 40-plus scoring games in a season.
Davis also had two run-ins with former coach John Lucas, fired Jan. 20 after a 17-point loss at Utah. Lucas suspended Davis for two games this season for arguing with teammates and being selfish.
The win was just the second in 15 games for the Cavaliers, who have a league-worst 12-53 record. Cleveland needs four wins in its final 17 games to avoid tying the franchise's worst mark of 15-67, set in the inaugural season of 1970-71 and matched in 1981-82.