Baron Davis suffered one of the most disastrous and catastrophic injuries that a basketball player can suffer last season in the New York Knicks' opening playoff series against the Miami Heat.
About midway through the third quarter of Game 4, Davis received a tip-out from Tyson Chandler and got out in front of the defense in transition. He tried to split Dwyane Wade and Mike Miller for a layup, but took one step and immediately fell to the ground clutching his knee.
It was gruesome. Davis' right knee didn't look like much of a knee at all. He was stretched off the court in what resembled something of an NBA funeral for a player who was once one of the league's top guards.
ESPN reported that Davis would be out for about a year after suffering "a partial tear of the patella tendon in his right knee and complete tears of the right anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments."
Add that to a laundry list of all kinds of injuries, and one would think that it would be safe to assume that Davis had stepped on the court for the final time.
According to Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus, that is not the case:
Over the weekend, Baron Davis hosted his third Annual Kickball Game to benefit the Rising Stars of America. While Davis, a free agent of the New York Knicks, is currently recovering from a significant knee injury, he looked trim and healthy considering how badly he was hurt.
A source close to Davis said he intends to return to the league this season.
Davis spent last offseason rehabbing a back injury in hopes of returning to play basketball. He was successful on that occasion, but this would be a much taller task.
In 13 seasons, Davis averaged 16.1 points and 7.2 assists per game while playing for five franchises. He was with the Charlotte Hornets when they moved to New Orleans. He gave us "put that in your flat top," then signed a five-year, $65 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.
That was back when Davis had the necessary physical abilities to play in the NBA. He no longer has those abilities.
Last season with the Knicks, although adequate in some stretches, he was usually a step behind the game. That is to be expected after nearly 15 years playing at the pace he did, but it was sad to watch nonetheless.
Should Baron Davis return next season?
The 2011-2012 season brought career lows in virtually every major statistical category. Granted, that was to be expected with his decreased role, but he had a very hard time adjusting to his diminished skills.
Things wouldn't be much better for Davis if he were to make a comeback, in fact, they would likely get worse.
There is no reason for a once-top-tier player to drag on his career and risk suffering another injury that could be detrimental to a healthy way of life.