New Orleans may be about to suffer another painful loss to Los Angeles. And unlike the NFC Championship Game, this one is partially the Saints’ own fault.
In a long look at New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis’ recent trade demand by Sam Amick of The Athletic, the unusual joint ownership of the Saints and Pelicans is a factor in one of the NBA’s biggest stars wanting out.
The story cites “a source with knowledge of Davis’ thinking” saying that the Pelicans being less of a priority to ownership than the Saints “has been a growing concern” to Davis.
Both the Saints and Pelicans are owned by Gayle Benson, who inherited the team from her late husband Tom. And both teams are presided over by General Manager Mickey Loomis, though the NBA team has Dell Demps as senior vice president of basketball operations to do the day-to-day work.
It’s reasonable to question Loomis’ basketball background, since he didn’t have any when he was placed in charge of an NBA team. The story notes that of the 541 words in his Pelicans media guide entry, 497 are spent on his work with the Saints.
The widespread suspicion is that Davis wants to end up with the Lakers, and the fact his agent Rich Paul also represents LeBron James is part of that. But if Davis is said to be disillusioned by the Pelicans seeming to be a second-class citizen, going to a team which bumps the Rams’ Super Bowl appearance down the page in the local papers would be a plus.
NBA teams in small markets often struggle to keep star players, and the growing trend of stars wanting to team up to try to win titles isn’t going away anytime soon. When Gayle Benson was asked about Davis in January, she replied: “I really like Anthony, but if he wants to leave, you can’t hold him back.”
Now, he appears to. And if he does, he’ll leave a hole in the basketball team much bigger than any missed call could.