Anthony Davis’ Father: ‘I Would Never Want My Son To Play For Boston’

The comments by the star center's father are causing NBA fans to examine the question of loyalty in basketball.

Anthony Davis in a recent game
Chris Graythen / Getty Images

The comments by the star center's father are causing NBA fans to examine the question of loyalty in basketball.

Since Anthony Davis requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, speculation has centered on where, exactly, the star NBA player might wind up. The two most oft-mentioned teams for Davis have been the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.

Now it sounds like the Celtics aren’t such a strong contender — at least, if Davis’ dad has anything to say about it.

Anthony Davis, Sr., the father of the player, sent a text to ESPN reporter Ramona Shelburne on Friday.

“Boston… I would never want my son to play for Boston after what they done to Isaiah Thomas…. NO LOYALTY… guy gives his heart and soul and they traded him… anyone can print that,” the text said.

The text was featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter, and then heavily shared on social media Friday night. In the full ESPN story, Anthony Davis, Sr. clarifies that the comment is his opinion only and that he is not speaking for his son.

The elder Davis’ text is in reference to Thomas, a guard who formerly played for the Celtics. Thomas led the Celtics on a strong postseason run in 2017, even winning a playoff series against Chicago that began hours after he learned that his sister had been killed in a car accident. Thomas went on to score a team-high 53 points in a game during a second-round playoff series.

The following offseason, the Celtics traded Thomas to Cleveland, as part of a deal in which Boston obtained star guard Kyrie Irving. Thomas has been an oft-injured journeyman since the trade, splitting last season between Cleveland and the Los Angeles Lakers, but playing only 32 games due to a hip injury. Thomas signed a one-year deal with the Denver Nuggets last summer, but has yet to play a game for the Nuggets.

Following the comments from Davis’ father, numerous social media users called out the Davis family for hypocrisy, pointing out that the younger Davis is also showing a lack of loyalty to his team by seeking a trade.

What seems to be clear is that in the NBA, loyalty isn’t a primary consideration for players or teams. Teams have many considerations, starting with winning, and profitability, that come ahead of loyalty, and players do as well. Teams are going to trade players, even if they’re beloved, if they feel it gives them a better chance to win, and it would be hard to argue that the decision to get rid of of Thomas hasn’t worked out well for the Celtics. Similarly, if Anthony Davis’ goal is to win a championship, the obvious move is to do exactly what he did, which is ask for a trade.