'Big Baby' wants to play in NFL

Updated: November 7, 2009, 2:00 AM ET
By Chris Broussard | ESPN The Magazine

Glen "Big Baby" Davis has no regrets about choosing basketball over football. That's because he's achieved success and a championship with the Boston Celtics -- and also because he doesn't believe his days on the football field are over.

Davis, the Celtics' 6-foot-9, 290-pound forward, said he eventually wants to play in the NFL.

When I become an All-Star in the NBA, when I become a great player in the NBA, then I'll try football. One of my dreams has always been to play football.

-- Glen Davis

"I will try it," said Davis, who's on the injured list for six weeks with a broken right thumb sustained in a fight. "When I become an All-Star in the NBA, when I become a great player in the NBA, then I'll try football. One of my dreams has always been to play football."

Davis was a terrific two-way football player at University Laboratory High School in Baton Rouge, La., starring at defensive end, defensive tackle and tailback. But he chose to hang up his cleats and accept a basketball scholarship to LSU, where he became an All-American.

"I definitely could have made it to the NFL," Davis said.

He doesn't have a specific position in mind in the NFL.

"It don't matter," he said. "I just want to play."

Burke Broussard, an assistant football coach at University Laboratory, told ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg that, "In my opinion, he still has the physical and mental ability to possibly pursue [the NFL] if he chooses to."

Broussard, in fact, compared his former student to 13-time Pro Bowl defensive end Reggie White.

"Glen's skills were similar to a Reggie White-type defensive end," Broussard said via e-mail. "Not many players at 6 feet, 6 inches and 320 lbs. can move like he could. That was the amazing thing about watching him play the game, he moved like a 5-11 running back with great instincts."

Davis is now in his third season with the Celtics. He averaged just 7 points and 4 rebounds per game as a reserve last season, but while replacing Kevin Garnett as a starter in the playoffs, Davis pushed his averages to 15.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

In August, Davis signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Celtics. He doesn't foresee jumping to the NFL at the end of this contract because he doesn't think he'll reach his NBA goals by then.

"No, we've got too many other great players in front of me -- KG and Rasheed Wallace -- for that to happen," he said.

Davis found himself in hot water with the Celtics after breaking his thumb in an early-morning fight with a longtime friend just two days before the start of the regular season. He apologized to his teammates and was fined for the indiscretion, but was not suspended.

Chris Broussard is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.

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