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Anthony Davis remains staunchly committed to Pelicans: “I want to play for New Orleans”

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Davis dismisses any notions of wanting to leave before his contract is up, recalls the team’s progress made with DeMarcus Cousins, and believes in the organization’s commitment to winning.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

For those who thought he gave any inkling of wanting to be elsewhere during Rachel Nichol’s All-Star weekend interview, Anthony Davis attempted to set the record straight following New Orleans Pelicans practice on Thursday.

“I don’t go into any year saying, okay, I don’t want to be here or nothing like that, but of course at some point, you want to win — and I feel like we are trying to get the right pieces around here. I think our front office is doing a better job. They’re doing the best job they can do. I feel like we’re moving in the right direction, but you do have to take it year by year and see where it goes. That’s how I’m approaching it. You know, of course, Cuz is a big factor and what he’s going to do or not, but I’m here until 2021, man, and then {I’ll} make a decision from there. I don’t plan on leaving in the next couple of years or anything like that. Like I said, I’ve always wanted to be here and that’s still true.”

In case you missed it, many decided to cling onto a particular segment of the ESPN interview from several days ago that had to do with whether Davis wonders if he’s traveling down the same path as Kevin Garnett, who wound up regretting a decision of not asking for a trade sooner to a more competitive franchise.

I had surmised there was nothing to see here simply because he was cornered into responding in such a fashion that gave rise to the potential for some doubt by the narrow-minded. What everyone should have focused on instead was Davis’ belief that the Pelicans could have made the 2018 NBA Finals had DeMarcus Cousins not torn his Achilles. When asked about the franchise’s commitment to winning earlier today, Davis didn’t waver in the least.

“Yes, for sure. I mean of course we had some injuries, you know, Solo and Cuz — stuff we can’t control, but I feel like we have a good team, a good enough team to fight with our role players and our starters. We’ve taken steps to be a winning franchise, but we’ve just been hit with the injury bug every year since I’ve been here. So, we can’t really see our full potential, but we know where we could have been if we had those guys but we don’t.”

Despite the injuries, Davis believes the Pelicans need to keep playing with energy because it could still be the team’s year.

“We might win our next 25 games...go win the Finals, you don’t know.”

Davis’ confidence in the team was also evident when he stated his goals for this season have not changed despite the loss of Cousins.

Sorry, talking heads, but Davis hasn’t quit on this season, nor on the New Orleans Pelicans franchise.

“But for right now, I want to play for New Orleans.”