Anthony Davis does not want to play for the New Orleans Pelicans anymore, and he made that crystal clear on Tuesday.
In an embarrassingly low-effort performance against the Orlando Magic, Davis scored just 3 points on 1-of-9 shooting, his lowest scoring output ever in a game he played at least 20 minutes. After the 118-88 loss, Davis was dejected and clearly not optimistic about the rest of the season.
“We sucked,” Davis said. “Seemed like nobody was interested in playing. When you play like that against a team who’s fighting, you should expect that result.”
Tuesday’s game was only Davis’ third since he was sidelined with a finger injury and later asked for a trade. While he scored 32 points with nine rebounds in his first game back, he only put up 14 points (albeit with 16 rebounds) in the game before this stinker.
Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry was fed up with all the media attention and questions about how the team would handle their disgruntled star. Gentry said the team was trying to “get back to normal, whatever our new normal is” and “get our young players better.”
Alvin Gentry has clearly had enough of talking about the Anthony Davis situation.. the frustration is clearly growing.. pic.twitter.com/8TnNwz2HUm
— Doug Mouton (@DMoutonWWL) February 13, 2019
“I’m not going to talk about it any more,” Gentry said. “I’m done talking about it. I’m going to talk about the team and Frank [Jackson] and how we need to get him better and what Kenrich [Williams] is doing and how we’re playing overall and how we’re doing. That should be the story from here on out. That should be it.”
How will the Pelicans handle Davis?
Immediately after Davis’ trade request, the Pelicans kept their recovering star on the bench to avoid an even bigger injury ahead of the deadline. There were rumors that the Pelicans might bench him the rest of the year to preserve his trade value, but Davis said he wanted to continue to play.
Davis may want to play, but the Pelicans certainly want him playing hard as well. Davis is averaging 9.1 free throw attempts per game, and he only got to the line two times on Tuesday, a mark he’s only done one other time all year.
The NBA denied a report that they would fine the Pelicans $100,000 for every game that the Pelicans benched a healthy Davis, but it’s well-known that the league does not like to see their stars benched. Fans travel to see big players, and the league doesn’t want to mess with the integrity of the games (or betting lines).
Still, what we all saw as a healthy relationship coming to an end is quickly turning ugly. The Pelicans surely can’t wait to get to the offseason so that they can deal Davis and reload, while Davis has shown he wants nothing to do with his middling team.
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