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Rookie Love

.Gifs are fun. Always.

We all got to hear about and see Anthony Davis’ Olympics debut earlier today, and we couldn’t be more proud about seeing this 19 year old former Wildcat put in work on the world’s biggest stage. While this is great, it does make me wonder about the dynamics of an Olympic basketball team full of professional NBA players. SBNation grabbed this .gif of Anthony Davis getting a (probably friendly/mentor-ly) shove from Chris Paul.

As anyone who has ever had to be the ‘new guy’ in any sort of group knows, there is a breaking in process. For the NBA, we often see this ‘rookie initiation’ period briefly begin during summer league action, although this is usually just a small taste for the type of tough love rooks receive from veterans once the real season starts. Most new players don’t get the privilege of competing in the Olympic games on a roster full of established pros. For that reason, Anthony Davis began his official rookie initiation period a bit early. Most Olympic teams are built on the idea of playing for their country first and foremost, but it is inevitable that the NBA culture leaks through into the men’s national team’s chemistry.

As soon as he was drafted and the hype started to grow on Anthony, we saw inklings of vets preparing for AD’s arrival by making sure everyone knew he was just a rookie. We also saw Anthony brush off any backhanded compliments and say that he was prepared and confident to play anyone, anywhere, anytime.

While it is certainly nothing near ‘bad blood’, the rookie-vet dynamic is going to be very unique in Davis’ case. Yes, he is only 19 years old. And yes, he has yet to play his first regular season game as a Hornet. But he has already proven himself by making the Olympic roster and playing on a stage that many vets have never had the chance to do. You can see Anthony pull back in laughter after CP3’s shove — he knows he has what it takes to prove himself to any veteran in the league.

The Hornets have guys like Carl Landry, Hakim Warrick, and maybe even Eric Gordon who could come into the upcoming season with veteran-like attitude towards the rookie Davis — making him carry bags, do laundry, pick up basketballs, etc. It will be interesting to see how playing with major stars in London will effect the rookie initiation period for Anthony Davis, or his reaction to any veteran pranks. And if he continue to prove himself in actual game scenarios, it will be hard for any player in the league to give him a hard time.

Article written by Chris Thomas

24 Comments for Rookie Love

  1. David
    4:23 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    I love this whole situation. Davis obviously has the rookie role, including a lot of teasing, only playing at the end of games, and a huge overreaction by the main guys when he makes a mediocre play, but everyone on that team knows Davis will be something special, and still respect him, unlike the ’92 team did Laettner. It’s like the guys are giving him a hard time while they can, and using a more playful mood.

    It’s kind of like when Kobe dunked on Dwight Howard when Howard was a rookie, Kobe said that he ‘baptized him’. Kobe may have posterized him, but gave Howard enough respect for the future when he became the NBA’s best big man. This is awesome for Davis. He just needs to continue his muscle gain, which looks good so far.

  2. Calvin
    4:36 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Kevin Love was just on ESPN radio and had some awesome things to say about Davis. Although he did say the entire team wants to shave the unibrow and he always gets picked last in the pick up games, Love said Davis is one of the hardest workers. First in the weight room and last outta the gym.

    I dont think its possible to be more jealous of a 19 yr old than I am of Davis, awesome stuff.


    Go Cats!


  3. David
    4:39 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    #2, Davis got picked after Harden? That’s surprising, actually.

  4. James K
    4:41 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Anthony was slipping every screen extremely early; I was cracking up. He wanted that lob, bad.

  5. The Brow
    4:43 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    I’d like to see Davis actaully setting his picks for more than a fraction of a second and then rolling to the rim and looking for a lob. He has so much more game than that and I’d love to see him working on the rest of his game rather than looking for the poster lob dunk on every play.

  6. Weege
    4:54 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    He should have decked Paul with a right hook and laid him slick out.

  7. catcrawler
    4:54 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    That’s true #5, maybe he should pop for a silky smooth jumper every now and then

  8. weegeismybiotch
    5:02 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    6… Calm down idiot. Paul was obviously playing around

  9. Biggass Hungguy
    5:06 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Davis is lucky Paul didnt hit him in the nuts.

  10. BigBlueLexJohn
    5:10 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Even though i beleive Anthony is the best player on this team. He would not have made it remember all the other all-stars that are not on the team due to injury.

  11. 00BBN00
    5:27 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Paul was right to shove Davis. He missed two lobs because he wasn’t focused. He finally did manage to throw one down, after they went to him 3 offensive possessions in a row. The other guys love Davis and they want to teach him and Davis is GRATEFUL for the opportunity. Very exciting to see a former Cat do so well.

  12. Bow to the Brow
    5:29 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    I am sure it was CP3 giving him crap for missing his alley-oop dunk that he passed to him

  13. CobaltCat
    6:57 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Former Wildcat? No such thing. Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.

    Lead off with that, and I miss the rest of your point.

  14. cruse
    7:11 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Is Chris Paul just being a punk? Games over, they won and he has to act that way?

  15. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    7:41 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    do people really think this is a thing?

  16. gottodoit
    8:15 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Yes, I think it was a ‘thing’. AD should have ripped Paul’s head off and made him swallow it.

  17. MissingThePoint
    9:32 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    The people upset with this have never played an organized sport in their lives. If they didn’t love Davis they would just ignore him!

  18. Seriously
    9:46 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    He should’ve just punched Paul in his junk.

  19. The Bench
    10:24 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    Agree with #10 if Jon Wall(remember him?) hadnt been running out of control like usual ad banged Griffins knee, Davis would not be in London.

  20. Ben M
    10:58 pm July 29, 2012 Permalink

    You can watch Davis laughing the entire time, it’s clearly two athletes messing around.

  21. putinrichie
    6:47 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Carl Landry will not be on the Hornets next season. He is a free agent and the Hornets are both over cap and not bringing him back. Just pointing things out since Chris Thomas probably wasn’t aware of the makeup of the Hornets roster.

  22. Musehobo
    7:37 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    19) Wall hit Griffin, but Cousins’ hit was the one that took him out…they tag-teamed him.

  23. kentuckyrules
    8:21 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    “Nice wax job rookie!”

  24. Will S
    9:31 am July 30, 2012 Permalink

    Love Anthony Davis. He’s a great player and seems like an even better kid. Although it should be noted that he technically did not “make the team” but was instead an alternate that was chosen because of injuries to Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, and Blake Griffin. Still, the kid is going to be great one day and may anchor the 2016 team. GO USA!!