In the 2019 NBA offseason, the New Orleans Pelicans decided to grant Anthony Davis‘ trade request, sending him to the Los Angeles Lakers for a trade package including Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and multiple first-round picks. Though he demanded the trade, Davis admitted that parting ways with the Pelicans was hard for him, especially knowing that they were the team that gave him the opportunity to play in the NBA.
In an interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic, which is currently posted on Twitter, Davis revealed having a conversation with Lakers teammate LeBron James about his experience leaving the team that drafted him, the Cleveland Cavaliers, for the first time in the 2010 NBA free agency.
“I asked him, I said, ‘When you went to Miami, first off, how were you when you left Cleveland? Obviously, you left free-willingly. I had to ask for a trade. But what was your emotions?’ He was like, ‘I was scared. I was scared as s—.’ And that was the same thing with me, because I’d been so accustomed to being in New Orleans, and I loved that city,” Davis said, as quoted by Yahoo Sports. “I loved the city of New Orleans. I’ve got so many friends there that turned family. Multiple properties there. New Orleans is a part of me. And it was tough for me to walk away from that.”
Though they left their former teams in different ways, Davis was wise to ask advice from James. Despite being highly criticized for his controversial free agency decision, James handled his departure from the Cavaliers well and proved that he made the right move by winning back-to-back NBA championship titles with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat.
Davis is yet to see any result like that, but demanding a trade from the Pelicans is undeniably what is best for his NBA career. Staying with the Pelicans would have led Davis nowhere. In the years he spent in New Orleans, their greatest achievement was reaching the Western Conference Semifinals.
For the first time in his NBA career, Davis is playing for an NBA team that has a legitimate chance of winning an NBA championship title. Davis and the Lakers are off to a good start in the 2019-20 NBA season, sitting in the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference with a 9-2 record. Proving early season predictions wrong, Davis didn’t have a hard time making adjustments with his game in his first season wearing the Purple and Gold.
Despite sharing the court with a ball-dominant superstar like James, Davis still managed to post incredible numbers and is currently averaging 26.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.9 blocks, and 1.3 steals while shooting 48.7 percent from the field.
On November 27, Davis is set to face the Pelicans for the first time as a member of the Lakers. Davis is probably anxious to know if he will still be welcomed in New Orleans as a hero or receive the same treatment as James did when the latter first played against the Cavaliers as a member of an opposing team.