Glen Davis: I Was Not Trying to Hurt Shaq
"I never in my mind thought his thumb was hurting," Davis said after Boston's 104-93 loss to the Cavs on Sunday.
The play was brought up because it came after O'Neal had injured his thumb in the February win over Boston. The injury occurred when Davis slapped down on the ball as O'Neal went to take a shot. The thumb bent awkwardly as O'Neal tore a ligament. On the Cavs next offensive possession, Davis reached across O'Neal's body and grabbed his right thumb. He then shook O'Neal's hand around.
A video from the TNT broadcast of Davis grabbing the thumb has been posted on YouTube.
As Davis dressed Sunday, he looked up from his locker and saw a large contingent of Cleveland media. He rolled his eyes at the group, and said he thought people had "made it look like I was intentionally trying to hurt (O'Neal)."
"But I wouldn't dare to anything like that," he said.
Davis said he didn't know O'Neal's thumb had been injured.
"He made no indication his thumb was hurting," Davis said. "I was just playing basketball. Trying to be a defensive agitator, meaning just messing with him.
"But I never thought in my mind that his thumb was hurting."
Davis said he didn't know O'Neal was hurt until O'Neal called timeout to take himself out of the game. At that time, he told Davis he thought he had broken his thumb.
"We're buddies," Davis said. "I've been knowing Shaq for a long time."
O'Neal and Davis both went to LSU, and the two have talked since the injury. The Cavs have not made an issue of what happened. Davis was booed during Sunday's game, but the boos were not excessive.
The loudest came when he bumped into Anderson Varejao as the two were going for a loose ball and knocked Varejao into the front row. Earlier, Davis had left his feet as Antawn Jamison took a three. Davis flew into Jamison and both players went to the ground.
"My life flashed before me," Jamison said of seeing all of Davis' 290 pounds flying at him. He added it was "definitely not a dirty play."
"I just try to play the game like it's supposed to be played," Davis said. "I don't try to hurt anybody."