CHICAGO – Former Kentucky forward Anthony Davis has a reputation of not getting excited about much. He does, however, perk up every time he gets text messages from his likely new boss – New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams.
Williams has traded texts with Davis since the Hornets won the NBA's draft lottery and the chance to take Davis with the No. 1 pick. Williams and Davis planned to eat dinner together and watch the East finals Thursday at the league's predraft camp.
Davis' Kentucky Wildcats won the national championship at the Final Four in New Orleans in April. He has some family members in the city who are excited for his arrival. Also ecstatic are Hornets fans, who suddenly have hope for a brighter future after New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson agreed to buy the franchise. Davis is still learning about the Hornets and the "Big Easy,” but he knows about Williams.
"I know they work hard every night under Coach," Davis said. "It’s a great place to play."
Davis plans to hire an agent in a couple weeks. He expects to also visit New Orleans soon. Williams didn’t offer an official commitment to draft Davis, but no one expects the Hornets to pass on the talented forward.
"I’ve been watching film," Williams said. "He’s athletic. Great hands. Runs the floor. His passing is better than I thought. He’s just going to get better, and the more he works he will get better. He’s a young player who has never played the NBA game, but he’ll get stronger, better.
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And he's gained 15lbs of muscle since season's end.
Davis was listed at 220 pounds last season, but says he has gained 15 pounds of muscle since season’s end. Under the direction of Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne, former Wildcats student manager Will Martin is putting Davis through two-hour workouts five days per week. Martin said the workouts consist of conditioning, agility and shooting drills.