A night after LeBron James said it would be “amazing” if he and Anthony Davis were able to find a way to team up on the Los Angeles Lakers, Davis was asked about that possibility, and James’ kind words. He played it mostly politically, but it was what he wouldn’t comment on that should catch Lakers fans’ eyes.
Let’s start with what he had to say to Zach Lowe of ESPN about James’ amazing hypothetical:
“I don’t really care,” Davis told ESPN of James’ comments Wednesday night after the Pelicans’ 123-115 loss to the Bucks. “Obviously it’s cool to hear any high-caliber player say they want to play with me. But my job is to turn this team around. If we’re 15-17, that means I’m not doing my job.”
Just as it wasn’t all that newsworthy when James said he’d like to play with Davis, this is pretty benign. The initial response stating how little he cared probably had something to do with the frustrations that come with a loss. It would be legitimately shocking if Davis didn’t say that his focus was on getting New Orleans — which is currently on the outside looking in at the playoff picture — back on track.
Which brings us to Davis’ response when asked about the extension the Pelicans will offer this summer that could pay him as much as $239 million.
Davis has consistently said he would like to remain in New Orleans, and declined to commit either way about the possibility of New Orleans offering him the supermax.
”When that time comes, of course we will see,” Davis said. “I love my teammates. I love New Orleans. I love the fans. I talk their slang. I love their food.”
One crucial note: Had Davis said he wasn’t a fan of the food in New Orleans, I’d have serious questions about whether he’s worth the assets it’ll cost to trade for him. With that out of the way...
It probably means nothing that Davis wouldn’t comment on talks that can’t happen until this summer. This is the usual stance for any free-agent-to-be. What makes this somewhat unique is how rightfully frustrated Davis has been with the organization over the extent of his career.
A player of his stature and talent level having won just a single playoff series in the five years before this season is outright astonishing.
We’re still months away from any such decision having to be made, but if New Orleans doesn’t figure things out well enough to make it into this postseason this year, Davis would understandably look for a franchise better suited to elevate him to the level of success he expects of himself, and that others expect from him.