Davis suspended following fight

Updated: October 27, 2009, 9:08 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

BOSTON -- Boston Celtics forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis had surgery on Tuesday to repair his broken right thumb after fighting with a childhood friend while riding in an SUV less than two days before the season opener.

A police report identified Davis as the victim and said his friend, Shawn Bridgewater, appeared to be intoxicated.

Davis is expected to miss at least six weeks, and the Celtics said he will be suspended for his behavior.

"We'll suspend Glen for the game [Tuesday] and [Wednesday] night, and we'll have further discussions on how long that suspension [will last]," Celtics director of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. "We'll probably keep it more internal, but we will suspend him.

"It's very disappointing and very unfortunate. He's a big part of our plans right now and, in a game like tonight, we'd love to have him. I think he let his team down by making a bad decision."

Davis I was defending myself. I wasn't just fighting. I feel like I let my team down by breaking my hand. I have to make better decisions on how I choose my friends.

-- Glen Davis

While his teammates were in Cleveland on Tuesday preparing for the Celtics' opening game against the Cavaliers, Davis was undergoing an operation at a Boston hospital. In a statement released by the team, Davis apologized to his teammates, coaches and the organization.

"I am extremely disappointed that this incident occurred and that it will prevent me from starting the season with the rest of my teammates," he said. "My teammates and the entire Celtics organization are extremely important to me and I will do my best to expedite the healing process and be back on the court as soon as possible."

That won't be good enough for the Celtics.

Earlier Tuesday, owner Wyc Grousbeck told The Associated Press that Davis could be suspended for violating the contract he signed this summer, which would pay him about $6 million over the next two years.

Grousbeck told Boston TV station WFXT that team officials would have a discussion with Davis at some point Tuesday.

"We'll deal with it," Grousbeck told WFXT. "I'm not going to call him 'Big Baby' anymore. He's Glen. He needs to act like Glen. We'll decide what to do once I talk to him, once we talk to him today."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers offered support for Davis, but admitted his broken thumb -- and the way he suffered the injury -- put the team in a tough situation.

"I'm supportive of Baby, but I'm very disappointed, obviously," Rivers said. "It just puts everybody in a bad way, and the timing of it wasn't great. I don't know if there's a good time for that.

"When we got the [medical] results back, we were hoping it would teach a bad lesson, but not one that was going to hurt our team as well. It turned out to be both. That happens. That's why we went out and got Rasheed [Wallace] and Shelden [Williams]. Someone else will have to step up and take those minutes."

Rivers spoke to Davis on Monday but offered no details on their talk.

"That's a private conversation," Rivers said. "It wasn't a jovial one, I can tell you that. But it was an honest one."

According to the police report, officers found Davis at 4 a.m. Monday walking shirtless near a black SUV that had stopped in the middle of the road, less than one-quarter mile from his Waltham house. Davis told police he had gotten into a fight with Bridgewater, whom he identified as his "best friend since childhood," while driving back from a restaurant in Boston.

Davis' girlfriend and her friend were also in the car; the report said all four concurred that Bridgewater, who like Davis is from Baton Rouge, La., threw the first punch and the 6-foot-9, 289-pound forward retaliated, leaving Bridgewater with a fat lip and blood around the mouth and nose. Both Davis and Bridgewater refused medical attention, before Davis and his girlfriend walked home.

"I was defending myself," Davis told Yahoo! Sports in a phone interview. "I wasn't just fighting. I feel like I let my team down by breaking my hand. I let my team down trying to defend myself. I have to make better decisions on how I choose my friends."

A backup for most of his career, Davis moved into the starting lineup after Kevin Garnett was injured last season and went from 21 minutes a game to 36 while bumping his scoring average from 7 points to 15.8. Davis became a restricted free agent this summer but re-signed with the Celtics to a two-year deal worth about $6 million.

Information from ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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