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Published: May 12, 2009 at 4:30 PM
There's a bit of controversy in Orlando after Glen “Big Baby” Davis hit a game-winning, buzzer-beater to help the Boston Celtics even up their best-of-seven NBA playoff series with the Orlando Magic. The controversy isn't related to anything that happened on the court—at least not within the playing confines—but instead focuses on Davis' reaction after the shot.
After hitting his jumper as time expired, an ecstatic “Big Baby” ran down the sideline toward his teammates in celebration. Making his way toward his bench, Davis came into contact with 12-year old Magic fan Nicholas Provetti, spinning Provetti around and knocking the ball cap off his head. Nicholas, who was visibly surprised by the contact didn't appear to be injured, but his father, Ernest Provetti didn't care. Ernest called Big Baby a "raging animal" with no regard for fans' safety and demanded an apology from Davis, the Celtics organization or the NBA, for the contact to his son.
I'm sure the disappointment of watching his home team lose a heartbreaking game played a part in Ernest Provetti's complaint, but his argument makes him—not Glen Davis—appear to be the big baby. The elder Provetti argued that Davis “shouldn't have went on the sideline,” but if you watch the replay, you'll see his (Provetti's) outstretched arm reach across the plane of the sideline, inbound, during the game. Who's not following the rules now, Ernest? And if you really want to get technical, Provetti's tickets—like almost all NBA tickets—were for seats. Had dad and son had their back-ends parked in their seats like they're supposed to, Nicholas would have watched Davis run by without incident.
I'm no Glen Davis fan. I'm still angry that Glen Davis ruined my trip to Atlanta, 3 years ago, when LSU beat Duke in the NCAA tournament, so this isn't a defense of Glen Davis; it's an acknowledgment that the Provetti's don't have anything to complain about. Mr. Provetti makes enough money to splurge on court-side tickets to an NBA playoff game, he's got enough pull to get a ludicrous apology demand reported by the media, and his kid has his mug all over the news and Internet all because a basketball player brushed by him. Most 12-year olds would soil their tighty-whiteys at the opportunity to see an NBA game from 50 rows up, much less court side, so the Provettis should consider themselves lucky and quit their whining!