The sequence of events that have unfolded since the trade demand heard around the basketball world have come fast and furious, so much so that it seems a near certainty we’ve all witnessed Anthony Davis play his final game for the New Orleans Pelicans.
At least that’s the hope.
On early Monday morning, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski announced in a tweet, “Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship.”
Later that same day, head coach Alvin Gentry relayed to an inordinately crowded media scrum after practice that Davis had made it clear he expressed a sincere desire to return to action and finish out the season once his injured left index finger was no longer an issue. Although Anthony didn’t speak himself, there was a good chance he would be available to talk publicly for the first before Wednesday’s game against the Nuggets.
A few hours later, the New Orleans Pelicans released the following statement:
This past weekend, Anthony Davis’ representatives informed us that Anthony does not wish to sign a contract extension with our team and subsequently has requested a trade. Although we are disappointed in this decision, our organization’s top priority is to bring an NBA championship to our city and fans and build our team for long-term success.
Relative to specific talks of a trade, we will do this on our terms and our timeline. One that makes the most sense for our team and it will not be dictated by those outside of our organization. We have also requested the League to strictly enforce the tampering rules associated with this transaction.
Soon thereafter, all hell started to break loose and it hasn’t stopped since.
- Whispers began to grow louder seemingly by the minute that the Lakers were going to push harder and harder, and in turn Davis’ camp would strongly advocate for one specific destination: Los Angeles.
- The NBA quickly fined Davis a sum of $50K because his representation made “an intentional effort to undermine the contractual relationship between Davis and the Pelicans.”
- The Celtics made it public knowledge that they were extremely interested in entering the Davis sweepstakes and would make it worth the Pelicans while if New Orleans waited until the next free agency period.
- The Pelicans PR department began a campaign of eliminating Davis from certain media, starting with the team’s twitter account.
Not sure when it changed, but the official Pelicans Twitter account header photo is now Jrue Holiday and no longer Anthony Davis getting fired up after a big shot in the playoffs last year. pic.twitter.com/avvRbsIrak— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) January 30, 2019
- The Pelicans announced Davis would speak to interested media on Friday after practice.
- Prior to the start of the Denver Nuggets game on Wednesday, Gentry quickly changed his tone from Monday regarding the future availability of Davis, stating “that’s a hard question to answer” and stopped short of guaranteeing anything.
- During introductions, the Pelicans removed Davis from the opening credits.
Side by Side: The New Orleans Pelicans intro with and without Anthony Davis. pic.twitter.com/CO2Eg94MWe— David Astramskas (@redapples) January 31, 2019
- Prior to the end of the game against Denver — a close affair that saw a one-point difference with less than two minutes to play, Davis left the bench and went back to the locker room.
- Marc Stein reported that New Orleans is contemplating Davis’ future with the team and one scenario involves preventing Anthony from appearing in any more games.
That should just about cover all of the necessary details, but it’s important to note that some fans are already fine with the idea of Davis never suiting up again for the Pelicans. In fact, they would prefer it.
They showed a fan on the big screen wearing an Anthony Davis Mardi Gras jersey.— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) January 31, 2019
When she realized she was on the screen she turned around to show the back of her jersey.
There was a piece of red tape over Davis' name
It read: "thank u, next"
This divorce is hardly going well, and considering the fact that the front office likely prefers to wait until the summer to deal Davis (in order to receive the best possible return for their departing superstar), the current situation of keeping Anthony publicly around the team — let alone allowing him to play again — seems untenable.
Should someone tell AD, one the league’s brightest stars, a hopeful teammate of LeBron James, to just stay away for the next two and a half months of the remaining regular season?
In a word, yes.
Anthony Davis is like a Fabrage egg: beautiful, rare, and if suddenly broken, an incredibly serious blow to the bottom dollar. The number one priority for the New Orleans front office is to protect their investment. If I were Dell Demps — and before the next paranoia attack hits, I would ask Rich Paul to surround AD in several layers of bubble wrap. The era of Davis playing meaningful minutes in a New Orleans uniform ended when the initial trade request was made. There’s no need to add any further risk moving forward.
For the sake of all future editions of the Pelicans, someone please tell Anthony Davis to stay home and go sit by the phone.