Cavaliers’ Davis looking forward to draft picks

Baron Davis wore a Cleveland Indians jersey and cap Thursday
night, and he’s already excited about the future of his basketball
team.

Davis took part in a first-pitch ceremony prior to the Indians’
game against the Texas Rangers.

The Cavaliers guard hosted a group of youngsters from a
Cleveland public schools program in a suite for the evening.

The Cavaliers, who lost 63 games in their first season without
LeBron James, own the first and fourth picks in the first round of
the NBA Draft.

The Cavaliers are expected to take Duke point guard Kyrie Irving
with the first pick. Even though that’s the position Davis plays,
the 11-year veteran says he has no problem with the team adding
Irving.

”I’m great with that,” he said. ”From what I’ve been through
in my career, playing against all the top guards, it will be great
for me to mentor a young point guard. It will be a great addition
if we do get another point guard.”

Davis has seen Irving play a few times on television.

”He’s quick and explosive,” Davis said. ”He’s a good
all-around basketball player.”

The Cavaliers acquired Davis from the Los Angeles Clippers in
February. Cleveland also picked up the Clippers’ first-round draft
pick, which became the top choice in the draft.

Davis averaged 13.9 points in 15 games with the Cavaliers, but
was slowed by knee and back injuries.

”I’m feeling good,” he said. ”I’ve been getting myself in
shape to build a foundation for this summer. I’m back to playing
pickup. I can actually run and jump and do the things I wasn’t able
to do when I was here.”

The league’s labor situation has put a cloud over the 2011-12
season. The owners and players are trying to negotiate a new
collective bargaining agreement to replace the one that expires
June 30.

”Hopefully, it won’t happen,” Davis said of a potential
lockout. ”There’s a lot at stake for both sides. Everybody tries
to pit one (side) against the other, when it’s a collective effort.
It’s ultimately for the fans. A lot of times you have to set your
ego aside and look at the bigger picture.”

Growing up in Los Angeles, Davis made a brief attempt at playing
baseball, but that ended quickly.

”They put me in center field and I was catching everything,”
he said. ”Then they put me at shortstop. I took a short hop, it
popped me in the lip and that was it.”

Davis said he is planning on returning to UCLA, where he played
his college ball, to complete classes in pursuit of his diploma.
Davis said he is majoring in history with a minor in television
studies. He is acting on a promise he made to his grandmother, who
passed away during the season, to finish his education.

”She always wanted me to get my degree,” he said. ”I wanted
to dedicate my summer to start making my strides.”

Davis said he’s about two years from completing his class
work.

”I’m not far, but I’m definitely not close,” he said with a
laugh.

Davis hopes this attempt will serve as an example to
youngsters.

”We all need to be more educated,” he said. ”We’re living in
a world where ignorance is prime. People have short-term memories.
It’s affecting our kids. They are a lot smarter than we were at
their age. We have to continue to encourage them to pursue their
dreams through education. These kids are our future.”