Anthony Davis found out about Lakers trade just like everybody else — on social media

Yahoo Sports

LOS ANGELES — Anthony Davis has something in common with most NBA fans.

Much like everyone who found out via Twitter or Instagram that Davis had been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in June, the former New Orleans Pelican learned the news while scrolling through social media.

Davis couldn’t remember much from that moment. He told reporters at his introductory Lakers press conference on Saturday that most of it was a blur.

“It all just happened so fast,” Davis laughed.

He recalled ignoring a phone call from his agent, Rich Paul, while watching a movie in his Malibu hotel room.

“In the middle of a movie I don’t really like to answer phones and texts,” Davis said, “so I was like ‘Ah, I’ll call him later.’”

Later came sooner than Davis would have thought after Paul rang a second time, and he decided he’d better call him back.

“When I called him back it went straight to voicemail,” Davis said. “So, me being a 26-year-old, I went straight to Instagram to start looking, and that’s when I saw it.”

There’d been rumors that Davis would team up with LeBron James in purple and gold for months leading up to that moment, but no longer was there any uncertainty.

“The most difficult part for me was not knowing,” Davis said. “The unknown. Whether you’re traded or whether you go back to New Orleans. When it was announced that I was being traded … it was just something that I’ve thought about for a long time. It was tough for me to leave the city I’ve been playing for for seven years. But I think it was best for me, and I think it was my time.”

Anthony Davis showing off new #3 jersey during his presentation as a Los Angeles Laker on Saturday. (Getty)
Anthony Davis showing off new #3 jersey during his presentation as a Los Angeles Laker on Saturday. (Getty)

Before Davis lifted his No. 3 jersey to initiate the start a new era for the Lakers, general manager Rob Pelinka praised his athleticism and his character.

“There is no more complete basketball player in the game,” he said. “There is nothing he can’t do. His dedication to his craft is unparalleled. And to sit here next him and think he’s gonna be on our team and he’s gonna be a pillar in this franchise for many years is just something we’re incredibly proud of.

“He’s a person of excellence. And he’s a person that carries himself in a way where actions speak louder than words.”

The 2019 free-agency period has seen some of the NBA’s best players team up, and Davis said he’s excited about the upcoming season with so much talent being spread around the league.

Still, he’ll take his Lakers squad over anyone else.

“I’ll put our roster up against anybody,” he said. “I feel like in a seven-game series, we’ll come out victorious.”

Pelinka explained he has been in constant talks with Davis and James throughout the free-agency period, trying to figure out the best options for the team’s roster, and they saw two routes: Add a third superstar or focus on building depth.

Even without the acquisition of Kawhi Leonard, a lot is expected of the new-look Lakers heading into the 2019-20 season. In the Lakers’ pursuit of Leonard, Davis waived his $4 million trade kicker, and he noted that it was to make sure he was doing his part to help the team.

“Any time you’re able to acquire a player like Kawhi, I think you have to do almost everything to get a guy like that,” he said.

Gone are Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram. But Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee remain, in addition to new acquisitions DeMarcus Cousins, Avery Bradley and Danny Green.

Coach Frank Vogel said he has some ideas about what the Lakers’ starting lineup will look like next season, but nothing is certain.

In the meantime, they’ll continue to welcome Davis to the team, something Pelinka described as “history shifting” for the Lakers’ organization, and Davis will continue his pursuit of what he came to Los Angeles for.

“I’m focused on this season,” he said. “When I got traded here my goal was to bring a championship here.”

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