Living Large Off The Court – A Celtics star is devoted to keeping his family comfortable
If anyone doubts that Ricky Davis, the 26-year-old starting forward for the Boston Celtics, wants to be a part of the team for a long time to come, they might consider the 14-room, 6 1/2-bath, white-brick contemporary Colonial where he has ensconced himself and his growing family.
That the 6-foot-7 Davis is a family man might surprise some people, especially those who heard his former reputation for self-centeredness when Davis arrived via trade midway through the 2003 season. But he’s engaged to his partner of five years, and they have a 17-month-old son, with another son due in February.
And here’s one more revelation about the good-looking guy with the dreamy brown eyes: He sleeps not only with his lovely fiancee, Vanessa Ramirez, 25, but also with son Tyree. Davis says Tyree will soon move into his own room (and the baby-to-come will join their bed when old enough), but there’s plenty of space for all in the custom-made 12-by-10-foot suede-encased bed.
The 6,278-square-foot house features a two-story entranceway with marble flooring, chandelier, and faux-mahogany staircase. It also contains a three-room finished basement soon to beequipped with pool and pokertables, bar, workout room, five television sets, and a media theater with leather seats, says Davis.
Although the player’s palace is certainly set up for fun, it was purchased for family, not for a chance to star in an episode of MTV’s ”Cribs.”
”I wanted something nice for the family; something big, with some yardage for the kids,” Davis explained a couple of weeks ago while leading a tour for a visitor.
Previously, Davis rented in Waltham, not far from where he relocated his parents from Cleveland, where he played for the Cavaliers before joining the Celtics. He also helped his younger brother, 17-year-old Edward, enroll in Lawrence Academy in Groton, where he is a junior; and older brother Alonge moves to Waltham this month, too. Davis picks up all of their tabs, but he is matter-of-fact about it.
”We’re always together in the same city,” says Davis. ”We’re close.”
In their new home, he and Ramirez can be close, or not, since the house shoots up four stories, ending in a playroom designed to outdo Gymboree, says Ramirez. The massive space is outfitted with bright, primary-colored mats, climbers, and tumblers, and the walls are dramatically painted with Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and other Disney characters, as well as an alphabet tree.
The playroom was the first level to be completed in this dwelling that Davis actually bought one year ago from Century 21 Shawmut Properties broker Jason Clark, first cousin to Celtic Paul Pierce; it was when Davis admired Pierce’s house that this whole house business started, he says. But just before they moved in, a plumbing failure caused major water damage throughout much of the home. The house even required new roofing.
”The insurance kicked in and helped us out a lot,” Davis says, recalling their decision to stay and not only repair the home, but to adapt it to their specifications. Painting and furnishing will continue for another few weeks, but the home is well lived in already.
The day of the visit, Davis and Ramirez took turns leading the tour, with Davis taking breaks to park in front of the big-screen television to watch the Patriots. He wasn’t being rude, though; his hairdresser, Diamond Foster, 20, was just in from Los Angeles to create Davis’s ever-present braids. Davis flies her in weekly so she can do her thing.
”She’s great, and I can’t find anyone in Boston who’s as good as she is,” Davis explains, with the same nonplussed attitude that he uses to describe the house and his live-in chef, Antaun Teasley, 34, whom Davis met during his stint with the Miami Heat and hired two seasons ago.
Although Ramirez is a ”great cook,” says Davis, ”I figured she’d be running around with the little one, plus I wanted to put on a few pounds and keep everyone healthy in the house.”
”Chef,” as Davis refers to Teasley, prepares and serves meals in a large kitchen with a Thermadoroven, a stainless Sub Zero side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, a center island, and black granite countertops. The room awaits arrival of a square black marble and leather table.
Adjacent to the kitchen is a large family room that looks out at the yard. Nearby is an alcove awaiting delivery of a baby grand digital piano and leading to a wood-paneled study, where Davis displays basketball mementoes and trophies.
To the right is a compact dining room with a richly detailed table Ramirez purchased from Jordan’s Furniture and a gold chandelier Davis selected at a Macy’s one-day-sale, Ramirez points out. Upstairs there are five bedrooms.
Davis’s part of the tour included the lower level still under construction, where already a bathroom is painted with dice by Connecticut artist Andrea Kane, who also painted the playroom and is now creating a locker room scene on Tyree’s bedroom wall, complete with Davis’s team jersey, player number 12.
Other unique features of the home include a commercial-size washer/dryer to fit Davis’s practice clothes, because his ”sweat pants alone fill a regular-size washer,” says Ramirez, adding, ”in order to get my laundry done in a timely manner, we had to have these, or I’d never finish.”
Other special trappings on order for the house are a large salt-water fish tank and, next spring, a swimming pool and full-sized basketball court.
”The only thing is knowing if Ricky’s gonna get traded,” Ramirez says. ”I say, ‘Let’s just put love into the house and hope we’ll be here for a while.’ ”
He adds, ”I don’t plan to leave no time soon. It’d be hard.”
And when are Davis and Ramirez getting married?
”We really want to get our house together before we do all that,” Ramirez says.