During the Hoop Collective podcast released yesterday featuring Brian Windhorst, Jackie MacMullen announced, “We have been told, I think, through channels — most of us have heard this same scuttlebutt — that Gayle Benson has basically told him (Anthony Davis), ‘To the Lakers, over my dead body.’”
According to sports anchor Fletcher Mackel of WDSU, these reports are “totally absurd” and “completely untrue,” as he personally spoke to Mrs. Benson and received clarification on the matter.
Many in the Pelicans organization believe this sloppy, incorrect reporting is coming from the same people who said Zion may not want to come to New Orleans.— Fletcher Mackel (@FletcherWDSU) May 17, 2019
That story/narrative was completely untrue and I’m told so is this Gayle “over my dead body” story. https://t.co/3zBveQ7Gy2
Dismayed, yes, but no one should be surprised by these turn of events.
As nearly all of you should recall, notions existed high and low that the Pelicans and then general manager Dell Demps refused to entertain any possible deals with the Lakers before the last trade deadline. There was a lot of finger pointing from a number of directions, but none more so than from Los Angeles’ side. Ultimately, many believe that New Orleans was not going to send Anthony Davis to Los Angeles because of the strong-arm tactics reportedly used by Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka, and Anthony Davis’ agent, Rich Paul. Some even took it so far as to say Gayle Benson, who also owns the New Orleans Saints, would never agree to any deal with L.A. because of the hard-luck loss to the Rams in the last Super Bowl.
Naturally, the hiring of David Griffin brought renewed hope that lines of communication would open between New Orleans and Los Angeles, especially with the Pelicans landing the right to draft Zion Williamson with the first overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft. Griffin was the general manager of the Cavaliers during LeBron James’ best run in Cleveland which included winning the 2016 NBA Championship, and he is known to have a good working relationship with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports.
Alas, things are already off to a bad start between the Pelicans and Lakers, at least publicly. If Davis has any chance of winding up with the Lakers while under contract with the Pelicans, one would assume negative and false reports about New Orleans or Gayle Benson should cease immediately...unless, of course, the Lakers have come to the realization that their best offer isn’t going to be competitive enough with those from a number of other teams who have interest in trading for Anthony Davis.