Once the NBA Trade deadline passed on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. without a deal involving Anthony Davis, everyone knew the rest of the season would be awkward for the former Wildcat and the entire New Orleans Pelicans organization.
When most assumed Davis would just sit out the rest of the season to prepare a trade this summer, reports leaked out that the NBA would fine the Pelicans $100,000 for every game they held Davis out and he would be playing the rest of the year.
In his first game back in the starting lineup last night following his finger injury and his trade request, the former Wildcat was booed by the Pelican fanbase when his name was announced during pregame festivities.
Loud boos for Anthony Davis during pregame intros pic.twitter.com/Ozvbi6tTSc
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) February 9, 2019
Every time he touched the ball from that point on, the New Orleans faithful made sure to let him have it (but still cheered when he made a basket).
— SBR Sports Picks (@SBRSportsPicks) February 9, 2019
After the game, Davis was asked about his return to the floor and his thoughts on the crowd’s reaction.
And as expected, he wasn’t too fond of it.
“That was definitely awkward,” Davis said, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPN. “Boo? OK. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m going to go out there and play basketball. I was [surprised]. But hey, that’s life, man. Some people are not gonna like me. I’m just happy to be back on the floor playing the game that I love.”
Davis finished the game with a team-high 32 points (11-15 shooting) and nine rebounds in just 25 minutes of action. In fact, the Pelicans benched their star power forward for the entirety of the fourth quarter.
Nonetheless, the former Wildcat is just happy to be back out there on the floor.
“My teammates came to me and said they wanted me to play. I just love being back on the floor …”
—Anthony Davis after returning to the court for the first time since demanding a trade pic.twitter.com/dGusx0d4PZ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 9, 2019
I’m so excited for this drama to be over.