On Thursday, the 2019 NBA trade deadline came and went with Anthony Davis not being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers or any other team in the league. He is still a member of the roster of the New Orleans Pelicans and will be at least until this summer. On Friday night, he returned to the court for the first time in weeks after suffering a finger injury, and it ended up being very different than what he’s been used to at the Smoothie King Center.
Not only was this Davis’s first game in a while due to injury, but it was his first game since publicly requesting a trade from the Pelicans. Many wondered just how things would go with him being with the team through the remainder of the season, but it worked out well for the Pelicans as they defeated the T-Wolves 122-117.
Friday night’s game was a home contest for the Pelicans and the fans in the Smoothie King Center were pumped up for it. They cheered as all of the starters were introduced, but that quickly changed when Anthony Davis was announced as a starter.
Yes, the man affectionately known as “The Brow” received a huge chorus of boos from the hometown New Orleans crowd.
Anthony Davis was welcomed with boos in his first game playing in New Orleans since his trade request ????
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 9, 2019
It’s hard to blame the Pelicans fans as they were now watching a player who said he didn’t want to be in New Orleans any longer. The franchise was set to offer him a Supermax contract extension this summer that would pay Davis around $240 million over five years, but he said he wouldn’t sign it.
Davis demanded a trade, but one did not happen by Thursday’s deadline, and now, he’s forced to finish out the season in New Orleans. Fans responded in the only way they knew how, and as reported by ESPN, Davis was kind of surprised by it.
“That was definitely awkward. Boo? OK. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m going to go out there and play basketball. I was [surprised]. But hey, that’s life, man. Some people are not gonna like me. I’m just happy to be back on the floor playing the game that I love.”
It’s obvious that Davis knows how to play the game he loves very well, and that is why he’s such a sought after player in the NBA. When the night ended, Davis had scored 32 points to go along with nine rebounds, two assists, and three blocks.
He played a mere 25 minutes and sat out the entire fourth quarter in the Pelicans’ big victory.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 9, 2019
With Anthony Davis having to play out the remainder of the season in New Orleans, some wonder if a change of heart may happen by the summer. It’s still possible that he could decide to stay with the Pelicans, but that may take a lot of convincing by the team, the city, and the fans. If his mind is totally made up, there is no telling where AD may end up once a trade is finally agreed upon and the Pelicans take up a team on their offer.