TORONTO - For Ed Davis, nothing motivates like a Thanksgiving dinner at an IHOP.
Not that the Raptors rookie forward has anything against pancakes or IHOP, but when your tastebuds are screaming turkey and stuffing and a home-cooked meal and all you have available to you is eggs, bacon and pancakes, life just isn’t complete.
And now that he’s back in the NBA, Davis said he has all the ammunition he needs never to make a return trip to Erie or the D-League.
Davis said that Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant known for its breakfasts was the low point of his two-game, one week stint with the Erie Bayhawks of the D-league where players are sent for playing time when they’re not quite ready for the show or coming off an injury.
In Davis’ case it was the latter and it has given him a real hunger to do well and remain with the Raptors.
“I never want to go back down there again,” Davis said. “It’s a struggle down there. It’s rough. I had a five-, six-hour bus ride to Fort Wayne. It’s really a struggle. You get in the mindset that you just really want to work hard and not go back down there.”
Davis’ return to Toronto probably was hastened by Reggie Evans’ broken foot.
Head coach Jay Triano said yesterday that he won’t start Davis Wednesday against the Wizards but it’s a good bet he’ll get his first taste of the NBA.
He knows he’ll be nervous, just like he was nervous starting in front of 2,000 people in the D-League, but he also knows his role.
“Whenever I’m called on, if I’m called on tomorrow, just do whatever I can do to help the team win,” Davis said. “Just rebound, run the floor, block shots.”
And Davis vows there will be no effort on his part to try to be the player Evans is, a task even the most veteran NBAers would have a problem accomplishing.
“I’m just going to play my game, and do what I do,” he said. “I can’t do what Reggie does. I’m just going to do what I do.”