Davis juggling being a new dad and the first NBA camp originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
WASHINGTON — You wouldn’t know it from Johnny Davis’ calm, soft-spoken demeanor, but the 20-year-old is currently going through an experience few have experienced before.
He is in his first NBA training camp as a rookie. He is also adjusting to life as a father, as his first child was born in September.
Those situations alone are not unique, but together? At the same time?
Now, that can’t be easy.
“Just taking it one day at a time, one diaper at a time,” Davis said.
The Wizards are monitoring the situation and providing whatever help they can to make the transition easier for Davis. Head coach Wes Unseld Jr. hopes practices and games can be a “safe haven” for Davis, where he can focus on basketball for hours.
At the very least, he may be something to watch out for fans when he struggles on the floor, as he’s had two preseason games in which he’s gone 0-for-12 from the field.
“I know it’s a lot. I was a new father at 37, so being a young man and having to go through that is exciting, but it’s also daunting and overwhelming at times,” Unseld Jr. said.
Davis said the experience of being a new father helped him mature and essentially grow up quickly. He’ll have to do the same on the court, as the Wizards may need him more than initially expected thanks to an ankle injury to second-year flanker Corey Kispert.
Kispert is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, which means he could be out for the first month of the regular season. Davis, the 10th overall pick in June, appears to be a logical replacement at backup second guard. Unseld Jr. mentioned his name when asked who might see more opportunities with Kispert out.
Davis will first have to get rid of tendinitis in his right knee, which kept him out of practice Thursday. In an unfortunate coincidence, the Wizards’ three most recent first-round picks are injured. Davis (2022) has a knee problem, Kispert (2021) has an ankle, and Deni Avdija (2020) has a groin injury.
The Wizards believe Davis’ injury is minor and Unseld Jr. described his absence Thursday as a precaution. So if that’s true and he can get back on the floor quickly, the door should be open for him to pick up some minutes early in the season.
“That’s why the team has guys like me on the bench, so they can step up. It’s just that next-man mentality,” Davis said.
Davis has been getting a crash course in Wizards practice by guarding Bradley Beal. They play the same position, so they pair up often and that pits Davis, who has yet to play an NBA game that counts, against one of the best scorers in the world.
If Davis comes to work after a poor night’s sleep as a new parent, he has a daunting challenge waiting for him.
“I’ve seen him on TV and in video games, but to be able to stand in front of him and score him 1-1 in real life is crazy. But I have to treat him like any other basketball player.” player. I can’t treat him like he’s a god or something,” Davis said.
It’s rarely easy for a rookie to transition into the NBA against the best players in the world. But it’s also not often that players have it as tough as Davis has it right now.
If you can get through this, you can get through anything.