- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON -- Declaring himself fit for a change, Glen Davis said before Monday's Boston Celtics game that he's dropping the "Big Baby" moniker and is searching for a new nickname. When a reporter suggested the Chad Ochocinco-like "Uno Uno" to match Davis' No. 11 jersey, he instantly fell in love with it.
"'Uno Uno,'" Davis erupted in delight. "I like that, I like that. I'll be 'Uno Uno,' that's my new name."
Davis, who has had his maturity questioned through a series of events over the past year-plus, including an off-court fight that forced him to miss the first 27 games of the 2009-10 season, and last week's run-in with a fan where he was fined $25,000 for shouting an obscene phrase, is trying to distance himself from all that as he takes the next step in his maturation.
"I've been called 'Big Baby' all through my life," said Davis. "But I'm going through changes. I'm in a cocoon and I'm coming out a different player, a different person. Basically, the new person is growth. I'm shedding that 'Big Baby' and you can see something else, not the past."
Reflecting on the fine from last week, Davis again apologized and was effusive in his praise of the Celtics organization for hanging with him through his troubles, on and off the court. But, while noting he's focusing on the future, he suggested fans send new nickname suggestions to his Twitter page.
But when Jeff Howe from the free daily newspaper the Metro suggested, "Uno Uno," the competition might have ended before it started.
When Celtics coach Doc Rivers was informed of the nickname swap a short time later, he rolled his eyes and initially said, "Oh Lord, no comment."
When told it was about Davis trying to change his reputation, Rivers added, "Actions change your image most of the time, but we'll see. That's good though. It's a start, right?"
Rivers then reaffirmed his support for Davis, noting that, above all, he's a good person and simply gets caught up in the moment.
"We'll all learn from our mistakes, at least I hope we learn from them, and I think he can," said Rivers. "Usually his mistakes come from emotion. You hope he matures, learns from that. His mistakes are nothing calculated, it rarely is, it's all emotional."
During the summer, Davis signed a contract that will pay him $6 million over the next two years.
He said he now understands what he needs to do and appreciated the Celtics' understanding this season.
"Sometimes, in the game of basketball, you kind of show your emotions in a different way, just like when you go to work and you get a staple in your hand or your boss is messing with you," he said. "In my job, it's just a different experience. I'm a young guy who is trying to learn how to live life in this sport and adapt to this lifestyle. There are some tough bumps. The Celtics have done a great job of sticking with me and understanding."
Davis, in his third season, is averaging 5.8 points and 4.1 rebounds.
Davis played a key role in Boston's playoffs last season with Kevin Garnett missing the entire postseason because of a knee injury. Davis hit a game-winning buzzer-beater in Game 4 of the second round against Orlando before the Celtics lost at home in the seventh game.
Chris Forsberg is a roving reporter for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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