Life for a superstar whose teams consistently fall short of expectations has to be pretty frustrating. We typically lack the nuance necessary to figure out why that might actually be going on and instead jump right to the conclusion that it is somehow definitely the star’s fault — like in the case of Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Davis spoke to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports about some of what that felt like and the effect it had on his eventual trade demand:
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.”
Davis then said that, while he was focused on winning with the team he played on at that time, at the end of the day, he also had to do what was best for him:
“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.”
That sound you’re hearing is everyone in New Orleans collectively rolling their eyes.
Davis did what was best for him and, because of his trade demand, New Orleans was able to net a pretty nice haul of young players and draft assets. Had Davis played out the rest of his contract and waited for the end of this season to make his way to L.A., New Orleans would have been left completely out of the cold and likely would have not have won the Zion Williamson lottery.
Now, Pelicans fans are going to say that giving Davis credit for everything he did while forcing his way to the Lakers rubbed them the wrong way and that’s perfectly fine, quite frankly. All that matters is that Davis eventually did land on the Lakers and the Pelicans landed on their feet following his departure.