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A big weight off Celtics’ Davis

By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / October 3, 2009

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NEWPORT, R.I. - Glen Davis’s weight loss is paying off. Davis’s two-year contract is worth $6 million, but only if he fulfills his part of the bargain in keeping the pounds off.

“I really don’t know,’’ Davis said when asked yesterday how much he weighed. “I’ve lost and I’ve leaned out a lot. I’ve lost, I’ve just been working hard. But I can lose as much weight as possible and if I don’t maintain it throughout the season, if I gain 20 pounds by the playoffs, it doesn’t matter. I just want to be consistent, and that’s what I’ve been learning to do - be a professional and be consistent, every day.’’

Asked about the weight clause, awarded annually, Davis said, “That’s a big reason, too. The bonus is huge. I wouldn’t agree to it if it wasn’t attainable.’’

But Davis, who was listed at 289 pounds last season, said he is not watching the scales.

“I have to weigh a certain weight at a certain time,’’ he said. “I have to find out what time and what the weight is. I just look at my body - you know when you get fat. You have to know who you are and you’ve got to know your body.’’

Coach Doc Rivers has noticed the difference.

“He’s in the best shape he’s been in in training camp,’’ Rivers said. “I don’t know if he’s more motivated. He’s more mature. All the young guys grow up, and I think they understand what you have to be to start camp and what you have to do to have a good season. Each year, guys learn stuff, and Baby each year has gotten better and better and more mature.’’

Davis’s offseason conditioning program ranged from mixed martial arts training to hiking the Ring of Kerry in Ireland.

“My girlfriend has friends in Cork and Dublin,’’ Davis said. “It was weird but I liked it.’’

Davis took hand-to-hand combat training in Boston and Houston.

“It relates to basketball in so many ways,’’ he said. “The competitive side of it, the mental focus you need. You’ve got to keep your composure. Every basketball game is a fight, a physical fight, and a mental fight, also. The mental part, when you think about is - everyone is talented on the basketball court, just like everybody can fight in the ring. It’s how you fight, how you react.’’

Davis has fit in with the Celtics’ second unit alongside Brian Scalabrine and Rasheed Wallace in the frontcourt.

“In the playoffs I showed I’ve grown and I have a lot of confidence in my game,’’ Davis said. “There’s nothing to prove. When I came in my rookie year, you have to do something to prove. And, if you don’t play as much as you wanted, you come back the next year with something to prove. But, now, I just play the game like it’s supposed to be played and make sure I’m helping the team. Remember, last year a lot of things happened that altered our team. It’s a long season and you never know what’s going to happen or when it’s going to happen. You have to be ready and my main focus is being ready when my time is called.

“Last year, I felt like I didn’t come [into training camp] prepared and it took a while to get in the flow of things. This year, I wanted to come in and get in the flow and the tempo, and let the coaches know that I’m serious, and all the tough discipline they gave me in the past paid off.’’

Rivers substituted Kevin Garnett, whose running gait seemed awkward, with 3:58 remaining in a scrimmage. “He went the whole time, until the very end,’’ Rivers said. “Probably went longer than he should have, because there was a lot of stopping and starting, which is not good for any of them, and definitely not good for him. Because you stop and explain, and they get stiff and you start them back up. Today was a day when we should have taken him out more. He just got stiff. Same reason we took Rasheed off the floor. I just think with all the stopping and starting, the older guys, that’s tough.’’ . . . Bill Walker had surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee at New England Baptist Hospital . . . About 75 prospects are expected to attend a Maine Red Claws open tryout at the University of Massachusetts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. The Red Claws are in the NBA Development League.

Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at f_dellapa@globe.com.

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