Davis on being traded: 'It's not that bad'

Updated: February 7, 2006, 8:43 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Antonio Davis reluctantly reported to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, saying he needed four days to clear his head.

Toronto Raptors

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Davis was acquired Friday in a deal that sent Jalen Rose, a first-round draft pick and cash to the New York Knicks.

There had been speculation that Davis, who was traded by the Raptors in 2003, wouldn't play in Toronto, instead retiring or asking the Raptors to trade him to a playoff contender or buy him out of his contract

"It's not that bad," Davis said after practice. "I'm still doing something I love to do."

Davis said he never brought up the possibility of a buyout. He's due $6 million in the final 34 games of what might be his final season.

"If these are the last 34 games of my NBA career, I want them played as tough as I can," Davis said.

The 37-year old veteran left Toronto on bad terms in 2003 when he demanded out, in part over concerns about the education his kids would get Canada.

He was booed when he returned as visitor.

"They have a right to feel how they feel," Davis said. "Even if I would have left on a good note, there is still going to be people who don't like you, who don't like what you stand for. I can't worry about that."

Davis said playing in New York was "a tough situation for everybody involved."

After Sunday's loss to Houston, the Knicks had lost five straight and 11 of their last 12.

"I hope those guys can keep it together mentally and physically and get through any challenges they have," Davis said. "I don't really want to talk about anything specific, but I think they have their work cut out for them. Hopefully, the can stay professional and get through it."

Davis said his role with Toronto will be to protect emerging star Chris Bosh, defend the paint and rebound.

Toronto coach Sam Mitchell hadn't decided whether to start Davis. Mitchell said he wasn't surprised he showed up.

"Antonio has been a professional his whole career," Mitchell said. "He's president of the players' association and he understands that's a huge responsibility. And regardless of what disappointments we all may have, you got to do your job first."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press