Just four days ago, Anthony Davis trade rumors broke the internet. Ok, not really. But AD’s potential departure from New Orleans suddenly became a reality, and his destination became a major topic of conversation. Every sports media outlet in the country was talking about Davis’ decision to leave the Pelicans – John Calipari even touched on it during his guest appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up.”
But now, Davis is finally addressing it for himself.
“I feel like it’s my time,” Davis told reporters Friday afternoon. “I gave the city, organization, fans everything I feel like I could. I don’t know how long I’m going to play this game. People’s careers are short, and I feel like it’s my time to move on.”
The former Cat has been individually successful during his time with the Pelicans – he’s a six-time All-Star, a three-time All-NBA selection and has finished in the top-5 of league MVP voting twice. Unfortunately, his personal success never quite translated into team success, as the Pelicans only went to the playoffs twice during Davis’ seven seasons, recording just one series victory.
While Davis says he’s planning on staying “professional” during his remaining time with the organization, there’s obviously some bad blood. After the trade request news broke, the Pelicans removed Davis from their intro video, and now their head coach Alvin Gentry is uncertain if Davis will return to the court for the Pelicans, saying “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” Davis is currently out with a finger injury, but says he still plans on playing. But Davis understands, “at the end of the day, it’s a business.”
“My intention is to play,” Davis said. “I’ve been working to get my finger back healthy. Obviously, it’s a tough situation, but my intention is to still play. And when I’m able to play, I plan on suiting up.”
While Davis’ agent Rich Paul said Davis “wants to be traded to a team that allows him the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship,” Davis said he never wanted the trade request to go public. Remember, he was fined $50,000 for the public demand (which, of course, isn’t a big deal for someone making millions of dollars per year). Regardless, Davis says he hasn’t given the Pelicans any sort of ultimatum.
“I never gave an [ultimatum],” Davis said. “Me or my representation never gave the Pelicans a destination or anything, so I’m not sure where that’s coming from, maybe the connection with my representation, but we never gave the Pelicans a destination.”
Anthony Davis is focused on the Lakers as his top preferred destination, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium. The Knicks are also as a preferred landing spot, and made push to New Orleans with offer around Kristaps Porzingis before the Dallas deal.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 1, 2019
His father told ESPN he does not want his son to play for the Boston Celtics, citing loyalty issues with Isaiah Thomas following a hip injury.
“I would never want my son to play for Boston after what they [did] to Isaiah Thomas. Guy gives his heart and soul and they traded him,” Davis Sr. told ESPN. “This is just my opinion, not Anthony’s. I’ve just seen things over the years with Boston, and there’s no loyalty.”
At the end of the day, Davis says he isn’t in the NBA for the drama – or the money.
“I’ve heard that question before: legacy or money? I’m all about legacy,” Davis said. “The money comes and goes. When I get done playing or leave this earth, what is my legacy going to be?”
At this point, the Lakers still seem like the most likely option for Davis’ next spot. The NBA trade deadline is February 7 at 2 p.m. Central time.