Checking in with Dale Davis

DALLAS - Now in his 15th NBA season, where he plays for the Detroit Pistons, former Clemson basketball star Dale Davis remains a solid post player off the bench and a great veteran presence in the locker room. He played in one NBA Finals while with Indiana and also currently ranks as the Pacers' all-time leading rebounder.

CUTigers The Magazine recently caught up with Dale before a recent Pistons/Mavericks game in Dallas and here is part of what he had to say:

CUTigers: We know it's been a while since your days at Clemson. How do you look back on those days now?
Davis: Yes, it has been a few years (laughing). I had some good years there. It is a great university and has some great spirit. From a basketball standpoint, we were able to meet and accomplish a lot of goals. That was a real treat. Just the opportunity to play at an ACC school was great. It had that family-type atmosphere and was relatively close to home. I just saw a great opportunity and it blossomed. A lot of schools in the south like Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina recruited me but Clemson just stood out from an opportunity standpoint.

CUTigers: This season marks your 15th in the NBA. What has been the key to your longevity in the tough world of professional hoops?
Davis: The main thing is to keep your body in pretty good shape by working in the offseason. I'm a big believer in working hard in the offseason. That is where you get better. Of course you take some time off but you have to keep yourself as fine-tuned as possible.

CUTigers: When Indiana took you 13th overall in the 1991 NBA Draft, was that a surprise or did you know all along that it would be the Pacers who were taking you?
Davis: I had gone there but they said that if I was around at that time that they would take me. There had been some talk that I would go earlier or may go later. I really didn't know what to expect. That was a good team. I had a good number of years there. I'm glad that I was fortunate enough to go there.

CUTigers: How much did playing in the ACC help ease your transition into the NBA as a rookie?
Davis: Every night in the ACC back then; you went against guys on the front line who were in the NBA. That was definitely the best conference because it was so competitive. It still is today. It was an easier transition for me because every night in the ACC, we had such tough games.

CUTigers: How much did the South Carolina rivalry mean to you during your time at Clemson?
Davis: It was tradition and any time your part of that, you definitely want to do your best. It was something that was a tradition long before I got there and I just helped to carry the torch.

CUTigers: Detroit is now your fourth NBA team. Where have you enjoyed playing the most and why?
Davis: It was definitely Indiana. I was there longer than anywhere else. I also got more accomplished there. I went to the NBA Finals there and had the opportunity to do a lot of good things there. I had some good years and great teammates in Portland too. I have great teammates here (in Detroit) as well. I think last year that this team was the most talented that I have ever played with.

CUTigers: You have your own record label and also help produce movies. What is new on that front and will that become your focus once your finished in the NBA?
Davis: Things are moving forward. We're releasing a number of movies and artists. That's something that started off as a hobby and now it's time to get it out to the general public. That business, the entertainment business, is a tough business. I think we've been able to overcome some huge obstacles. I have other things that I want to do but I will do that more and be more active in that. That's one thing where I'm giving opportunities to others for them to be able to make careers and that's definitely good.

CUTigers: One of your closest friends in the NBA was fellow ex-Tiger Elden Campbell. Discuss your relationship with him.
Davis: We had a great relationship. It started back in college and we have remained pretty close friends throughout our NBA careers. We stay in touch for advice. He's out (of the NBA) now and I'm on my way out. We've both had fun (in the NBA). It's been a heck of an experience. Top Stories