Anthony Davis, for years, was resolute in stating his desire to stay with the Pelicans.
Of course, Davis also requested a trade from New Orleans and engineered his way to the Lakers.
When did Davis change his mind on the Pelicans?
Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, said he requested the trade Jan. 25. Paul made it public Jan. 28.
The Pelicans were not on the Christmas Day slate last year, but Davis remembers vividly that it was around that time when he seriously started contemplating a relocation.
“I think it was just the wins weren’t adding up, and it seemed like we weren’t making the playoffs,” Davis told Yahoo Sports after posting 24 points, six rebounds, two steals and two blocks. “Everyone around me and everyone who knows me knows that I want to win. And I didn’t feel like we were going to be able to do that last year. I want to be able to win. We got off to a great start. We were 4-0. Then guys got hurt and little things started to go south. But my mindset at the time was to keep trying to lead my team.”
“You don’t have a lot of time in this league. It goes by very fast,” he told Yahoo Sports. “So for me, it was about putting myself in position where I can win before this career is over. And hopefully win several championships and have several winning seasons. That’s what was going through my head at that time. I’m not sure what the record was, but I felt like it was time for me to at least let the organization know where my head was at.”
I don’t believe this.
Davis hired Rich Paul in September 2018. That didn’t mean Davis would definitely leave New Orleans. But good luck convincing anyone that changing agents (especially to LeBron James‘ agent) didn’t mean Davis was at least considering departing (especially for Los Angeles). Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said he thought Davis hiring Paul would lead to a trade request.
Even before the trade request, Davis sent many signals about only lukewarm happiness in New Orleans. This was clearly brewing far longer than a month.
And that’s OK. Davis is right about professional athletes having short careers. He can look out for himself. The Pelicans did a poor job building around him.
Davis played hard and well for the Pelicans, even after his trade request. He didn’t owe them anything more.
This spin is unnecessary. Davis clearly wants to avoid perception he had one foot in and one foot out with New Orleans. That’s why he’s downplaying the length of his timeline.
Instead, he just comes across as insincere.
Emphasizing his desire to win championships doesn’t help, either. Sure, Davis wants to win titles, and he’s closer to that goal with the Lakers. But he also reportedly held significant interest in joining the lowly Knicks. The Knicks!