The Anthony Davis saga didn’t saw its end in this trade deadline. It seems that this matter isn’t going to be resolved before summer, and the 1st of July when the NBA enters free agency.
In the meantime, the Eyebrow is going to spend the rest of his time in Big Easy playing for the Pelicans, although they wanted him to sit the rest of the season at one moment.
Last night he played his first game since the request of the trade. And he received a mixed welcome. While some fans booed and didn’t want to see him anymore, others showed support to one of the best players in his position ever.
“That was definitely awkward. Boo? OK. It doesn’t matter to me.” Davis said about the fans who didn’t greet him well.
He didn’t want to get into the talks about that too much, saying that everything that matters to him is to play, nothing else.
“But hey, that’s life, man. Some people are not gonna like me. I’m just happy to be back on the floor playing the game that I love.”
And when looking at his performance against the Timberwolves last night, it was obvious that he missed playing, even though it was just a few days.
Davis scored 32 points in 25 minutes, adding 9 boards and three blocks. It was the first time in his career to scored 30 or more points in less than a quarter of an hour on the court.
His shooting percentage was excellent, hitting 11 of 15 attempts from the field. Despite what those fans who booed him think, he is still the most dominant center in the world.
The 25 minutes he spent on the floor, were a part of the deal between him and coach Alvin Gentry, who didn’t want Davis to overload after several days of absence.
“I was not going to have him, first game back, play 38, 40 minutes,” Gentry said. “We had talked about playing between 22 and 25 minutes.”
In the decisive moments of the fourth quarter, Davis was on the bench, and his Pelicans managed to win somehow. But the difference in quality with and without him is just too obvious. When he played, New Orleans has scored 22 points more than the opponents, while without him Minnesota had +17. That pretty much tells everything
As time went by, the other part of the spectators, which still support Davis, became noisy. With him out of the game, the Timberwolves came close, and that was the reason for the chants “AD, AD.” The fans wanted to see him on the court.
One of the reporters asked Davis after the game did regrets for demanding a trade and making all this fuss. The answer was straightforward.
“No, I never regret anything I do,” he replied.
The tension will deflate even more when All-Star weekend begins, and all the media shift their focus to that event. The recent developments regarding Kyrie Irving‘s and Kevin Durant‘s situations will no doubt take some pressure off the Eyebrow.
But he has to face the fact that his status will always draw more attention and create more hype than anybody else’s.
For the moment, Davis is just concentrated on basketball, and wants to play as much as he can, and as best as he can, which is what he told last night.
“The most important thing is we got the win. I’m going to do everything I can. I’m always going to be a professional at the end of the day.”
The Pelicans’ chances of reaching the playoff spot are pretty low, and currently, they are sitting 13th in the West with five games behind the Clippers who are occupying the last place which leads to the postseason.
They would need a miracle, but still, with Davis focused on basketball, and all the other guys in the right mood, who knows, maybe something unreal happens in the end.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.