Pelicans star Anthony Davis stays committed to New Orleans
Memphis Grizzlies guard Vince Carter (15) shoots against New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Don’t expect “The Brow” to bow out from New Orleans anytime soon.
Anthony Davis reaffirmed his commitment to the Pelicans earlier this week in an interview session with international media, saying, “I don’t plan on leaving [New Orleans], so forget that. Make sure you write that down.”
Davis is signed to the Pelicans for four more seasons after the current one, but his team’s struggles have created fertile ground for trade rumors. The team has made the Playoffs just once in his previous four seasons, back in 2015, where they were swept by eventual champions Golden State Warriors.
This past offseason, the team underwent a mini-revamp of sorts, letting go of veterans Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson, and adding in their place guys like Solomon Hill, Tim Frazier, and Langston Galloway. Lingering injuries though to Tyreke Evans, Dante Cunningham and Quincy Pondexter, and Jrue Holiday taking a leave of absence, resulted in a 0-8 start to the 2016-17 campaign.
The return of Holiday and Evans to the roster has given the team a much-needed boost however. Ahead of All-Star Weekend, the team is 23-34, but just 2.5 spots out of the eighth seed in the West.
“I like our team [that] we have now. We’re always just kind of injured, and so it’s tough to win games when a lot of your top guys are out…[But] we have a team that’s able to compete for the Playoffs. We showed that a couple of times this year, where we can matchup with anybody,” Davis said.
“We just need to get healthy. That’s really it. Getting healthy and making sure that we stay consistent….If we keep all our guys on the floor, stay healthy, and be more consistent, then we’ll be fine.”
Davis this season is averaging a career-high 27.7 points and 11.9 rebounds, to go with 2.2 assists, 2.5 blocks, and 1.3 steals.
With New Orleans hosting All-Star Weekend, Davis, voted in as a Western Conference starter, said that one of his goals is to win All-Star Game MVP. “It’s in New Orleans, so I’m going to try to go out there and play to the best of my ability,” he said. “That’s definitely one of the goals, to go out there and try to win MVP.”
One thing though that he won’t be doing is pitching his fellow All-Stars, in the hopes that they’ll consider moving to the Big Easy. “If guys want to come here, they can come. It’s not my job to go sell,” Davis pointed out. “I let the front office handle that. That’s their job, to bring guys in. I’m out here to play basketball.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time Davis will be playing as an All-Star in front of his home fans. But the fact that he’s more of an established star this time out, means more opportunity to do something special.
“The last time I played [in an All-Star Game in New Orleans], I didn’t get that much playing time, but the fans definitely appreciated I was there,” Davis recalls. “I’m pretty sure this time it’s going to be crazier than 2014.
“Getting an opportunity to play in front of the home crowd and family and friends is going to be something special for me.”