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Baron Davis apologizes for hit that forces T.J. Ford to retire

Knicks guard Baron Davis passes over Miami's Norris

Knicks guard Baron Davis passes over Miami's Norris Cole. (Feb. 23, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

CHICAGO -- Baron Davis called T.J. Ford and spent about 45 minutes on the telephone with him Monday to apologize for being involved in the play that ultimately ended Ford's career.

Last week in San Antonio, Davis ran inside to get position for a rebound and his forearm hit Ford, who immediately crumbled to the floor. Ford has a history of neck and spine problems. He announced Monday that he is retiring from basketball.

"He was just saying it was like a blessing in disguise," Davis said. "The fall scared him. The hit scared him. He basically was saying it wasn't my fault. It was basketball. I just let him know I have a great deal of respect for him, love for him. He's like a little brother of mine. I just felt bad. I just felt real bad to be involved in a play like that because it's not in my nature and my character."

Davis said it was important to him that Ford knew how he felt and that he said it wasn't his fault. As soon as the play happened, Davis reached down to see if Ford was OK.

"I just wanted to make sure that I let him know how much I cared, how much he meant to me and to express my apologies," Davis said. "I hardly ran down the court because once I saw it was him, I was like, 'Oh, no. This is the last thing I want to happen right now.' He's a dear friend and someone I respect, and I admire his hard work. It was an unfortunate situation. It was something I really felt bad about, still feel bad about."

Jeffries remains out

Jared Jeffries had his right knee drained to reduce the swelling last Thursday. He missed his fourth straight game Monday night but hopes to return Wednesday night against the Trail Blazers.

Jeffries said he originally started feeling pain against the Nets on Feb. 4, Jeremy Lin's breakout game. Jeffries said it was under control, but he stiffened up in Dallas and came back to New York to get his knee drained.

The Knicks have missed Jeffries' defense and selfless play. "We've played some good teams," he said. "I don't expect to come back and for us to go on an eight-game winning streak. I think I can help."

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