Now whether the Los Angeles Clippers are back remains to be seen. But the return of Davis' beard is certainly a good omen. So was the arrival of Blake Griffin.
"I want to put the work in and I want to show people again," Davis said Sunday night before the Clippers-Warriors exhibition opener. "I don't want to talk about it, really. There's nothing for me to say. I grew my beard back. That's all you need to know."
So, what does the beard mean? "You know what it means," Davis responded.
What it likely means is that the Clippers might be worth keeping an eye on this year. It absolutely looks like Davis, after a disappointing 2008-09 for the Clippers, is poised for a big year.
He's in shape and perhaps just as important he's comfortable and seems to be in a good frame of mind.
"It took me a year to adjust to this situation," said Davis, who signed a five-year, $65 million contract last offseason with L.A. "I didn't know what to expect ... no idea what to expect. It was a weird year. It was a weird summer and it carried into a weird year.
"It takes me a while for me to get used to a situation and for people to get used to me. Now, I think I'm back to being me. Back to being who I know I can be. And I know how to be successful."
The Clippers, on the other hand, don't. They've been to the postseason just once in the past 12 seasons. But Davis is smelling change.
"Something's brewing," Davis said. "You know what I mean? There's an energy ... a different kind of energy here from what we had last year. There were no expectations last year. Now we've got expectations and a different kind of energy."
Some of that was brought on by Griffin, a rookie who seems to get it.
"He's going to be good," Davis said. "He's going to be real good. He wants to learn. I think that's the most important thing when you have someone who gets a lot of attention. He's come in here and been nothing but humble.
"He's got a great work ethic, he's humble and he's willing to learn. Put that together with his physical ability, his ability to move at his size and handle the ball. He's got a big upside."
Who knows? Maybe the Clippers do, too.
More Steinmetz on Twitter: @matt_steinmetz