The Anthony Davis situation has created a “dumpster fire” in New Orleans.
The New Orleans Pelicans are fighting, while Anthony Davis is fading. The team’s 131-122 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night was a testament to the professionalism of the players and coaches who have been put in a tough spot since “The Brow” publicly requested a trade on Jan. 28.
In essence, he left the organization out to dry, but he’s not the first NBA superstar to do it. And he certainly won’t be the last.
The Pelicans are in survival mode and 4-5 since the Davis trade request. This has stressed the team, become a major distraction, made NBA owners squirm is and the talk of NBA circles.
“To tell you the truth this whole thing has been a dumpster fire.” said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry. “It’s hard for guys. We want guys to be professional but its hard for guys to go through what they’ve been through. To be able to come out and be a team of that quality. I’m happy for them. I thought they did a great job. We found a way to win the game. That’s what’s important.”
Once the Pelicans denied the Lakers’ trade offer, most thought Davis would not even suit up for the remainder of the year. The NBA wasn’t having that, so the league worsened the situation by having Davis — who is already out the door mentally– suit up.
This creates a situation that we had on Thursday night when Davis left the court in the first half with a contusion and then left the arena. He’s not going to risk injury playing for a 26-33 team that he’s gone sour on.
Adam Silver has a situation on his hands where a Top 5 player in the league is healthy and not playing. It’s a trend that the NBA will have to deal with eventually. Owners are already upset and new tampering rules are probably on the horizon.
This latest Davis fiasco is also evidence that there’s more chaos to come in the upcoming seasons. Superstars are going to try and dictate their own fates — and at all costs.
Davis’ agent Rich Paul has made it clear where they stand on the matter. After he appears in the All-Star game on Sunday in Charlotte, Davis will eventually be shut down until the summer, when the Pelicans can work out the most favorable deal for their 25-year-old franchise superstar.
For now, the situation can only get worse. Davis is playing hard ball, upset that he’s still a Pelican and leading the charge in this messy power game of chess.