By Jared Zwerling | ESPNNewYork.com
Knicks unrestricted free agent Baron Davis will remain with the team in "some capacity," his agent Todd Ramasar told ESPNNewYork.com on Thursday.
The Knicks won't re-sign Davis as a player because the 33-year-old point guard suffered a horrific right knee injury in last season's playoffs, and it's likely he could miss the entire 2012-13 campaign. But since the spring, the Knicks have treated Davis like one of their own. The team has allowed him to do physical therapy with their training staff, and most recently, management has approached him about staying on board this season.
Ramasar said Davis is very excited about the opportunity, but it won't involve a job title or him sitting on the bench during games. Instead, it will likely be more of a mentorship role behind the scenes and during practices.
"He'll still be around the team and could kind of help some of the younger guys just through his experience," Ramasar said. "The Knicks have been wonderful in terms of just extending support to Baron, whether it be through obviously his physical therapy or just having him involved with the organization going forward. He really loves that team and that organization has done an excellent job with Baron, and Baron feels like that's home. He really, really enjoyed last season with the Knicks."
Ramasar said Davis' goal remains the same from the moment he suffered a partial tear of his right patella tendon and complete tears of his right anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments during Game 4 against the Heat. "He wants to make a comeback," Ramasar said.
Davis is now walking around without a knee brace, and without the assistance of a cane or crutches. Ramasar said the last time Davis had a major checkup in early July, doctors determined he was ahead of schedule. The biggest thing right now for Davis is to regain his range of motion since the scar tissue healed.
"From what I'm observing, a lot of his therapy is just coming from walking and strengthening that leg again, and kind of adding some of those muscles that might have atrophied from the time down," Ramasar said. "He's starting to get those muscles to fire again."
In addition to physical therapy in New York and Los Angeles, where Davis makes his first home, he's been busy with two of his companies, Verso Entertainment, which distributes films, TV shows and web content, and his new one, 5 Balloons Interactive, which develops games for mobile devices. He's also been involved with his longtime community work in L.A. Just last week, he hosted an all-star kickball game on UCLA's campus, featuring a dozen pro athletes, to raise money for his foundation, Rising Stars of America.
Ramasar said it's "too early to tell" if Davis will play at all this season, but not to rule anything out. If anyone knows that, it's Ramasar, a former Bruins teammate of Davis' in the late 1990s who witnessed the former All-Star point guard return from a left ACL tear.
"One thing I saw then and I've known about Baron is that when he puts his mind to something, in terms of his will, there's no stopping Baron," Ramasar said. "As horrific and devastating that knee injury was this past season, if Baron's mind and will are into making a comeback and recovering fully, then that's not something that anyone would want to bet against."