Johnny Davis’s rookie season with the Washington Wizards also can be his rookie season as a father. Entering training camp, the first-round pick of Wisconsin will handle the unfamiliar challenges of fatherhood together with a grueling NBA season.
“It’s rather a lot harder than the transition coming to the NBA,” Davis said last week of becoming a father. “But, no, it’s really great knowing that I can just come home and see my baby day by day.”
While neither recent challenge can be easy for Davis, being surrounded by experienced veterans and fathers will make the transition a bit smoother for the 20-year-old. Bradley Beal, who recently had his third child together with his wife, Kamiah Adams, understands the twin responsibility well.
“His life can be a whirlwind, needless to say. That’s a component of talks we now have because I’m a dad, so I understand what that’s like,” Beal said. “He’s a younger dad than I used to be, so it’ll be rather a lot for him to balance — being a rookie, handling that responsibility as a father and ensuring that he’s all the time available and getting that point, too.”
On the court, Davis continues to grow more comfortable with the NBA game because the Wizards head to Japan for preseason matchups against the Golden State Warriors on Friday and Sunday. Exiting summer league in July, the No. 10 pick was admittedly unsatisfied together with his performance after he averaged 8.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in Las Vegas, shooting only 27.6 percent from the sector and 33.3 percent from three-point range before being shut down after three games with back tightness.
“It’s summer league. I take a look at it because it is just the time for me to achieve a bit little bit of experience,” Davis said. “I try to not dwell on it an excessive amount of.”
Despite his displeasure, Davis viewed the games as a possibility to learn and adapt before the true ones begin. He specifically expressed the importance of reading and seeing the sport at a high level due to leap in athleticism from college to the professionals.
“Just having the ability to know what’s there and see what’s there before the play actually happened in order that way I’m not type of stuck in that middle part where I get the ball and I don’t know what to do with it,” Davis said.
How Team USA and football prepared Wizards’ Johnny Davis for the NBA
Learning from his experience in Las Vegas, Davis headed to Los Angeles for open runs together with his Wizards teammates. There, his confidence and luxury grew as he applied what he learned.
“I wasn’t very satisfied with the way in which I played in summer league, so going into L.A., I didn’t put any pressure on myself,” Davis said.
As he grew more comfortable, his teammates quickly took note of the rookie’s quick strides and potential.
“I used to be just joyful to see Johnny type of loosen up a bit bit in L.A.,” second-year forward Corey Kispert said. “He looked like he was playing just like the kid we saw in Wisconsin. He’s coming into his own.”
With the back issues behind him and recent experiences under his belt, Davis continues to be adjusting because the preseason rolls on. On an experienced roster, Davis may have no shortage of wisdom and guidance in his corner.
“Everybody type of gives me their input, but to this point, during pickup games, there was really a variety of Monte [Morris] and Will [Barton]. [They] just tell me to not give it some thought an excessive amount of and just exit and hoop,” Davis said.
The preseason can be a possibility for the rookie to proceed to grow.
“He can easily, steadily learn what we’d like him to do,” Beal said. “But after we throw him in the fireplace, he’s all the time willing to simply accept that challenge, and that’s the way it’s been the last month and a half. He’s a willing learner and really coachable.”
Not only are his teammates aware of his capabilities on the court, but they always remind him and construct him up.
“My biggest thing is for him to be aggressive. Don’t draw back from anything. I tell him each time, ‘You belong here for a reason,’ ” Beal said. “ ‘Embrace that. Live in it. Know that you simply belong here — but in addition know that your work is just getting began.’ ”