You knew it was coming, yet its arrival is still surprising — Anthony Davis, face of the New Orleans Pelicans and all-world talent, has notified the organization that he won’t re-sign with the team and has requested a trade.
You can’t blame him.
Pelicans Are A Ho-hum Mess (again)
Davis has done it all for this basketball team and organization but can you say the Pelicans brass has returned that effort in-kind? Anthony Davis’ tenure as a Pelican has been spent playing for GM Dell Demps. It would seem that after seven years without success someone might have brought another GM in to steer this team in a different direction. Yet, the Benson family has taken a long wait-and-see approach with Demps with very little to show for it. Now, that game plan has wrecked the franchise.
Davis has played 451 games, all with the Pelicans, and has only appeared in 13 playoff games. Davis’ all-world talent has led the team to one opening round playoff series victory in seven years. That’s a whole lot of playing for nothing. Over his still-young career Davis has averaged 24 points and 10.6 rebounds and has collected many records along the way. What he hasn’t collected is a championship ring and it seems that he’s determined to make that happen. Just not in New Orleans.
It’s not that the Pelicans are awful, they’re just, yet again, not that good and have nothing to complement Davis. Sure, the Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic’s of the world can fill up a stat sheet on some nights but there is absolutely no threat in this club. I assure you every night the opponents just tell themselves “Stop Davis” and they can win the game. Unfortunately, most of the time, they do win the game and that’s why Davis seems to have had enough.
Grass Is Greener
Speaking of grass, make no mistake, Davis is turning down a supermax deal from the Pelicans worth $240 million. That’s plenty of green but it’s not like he’s going to hurting for cash when he signs with another team. No, his bank account will be just fine. Davis’ record in New Orleans is 240-302, he’s currently injured and staring down his fifth losing season in seven years. This move isn’t about cash, it’s all about winning and championships.
Davis doesn’t have to look far to see how nice it can be with other organizations. Hell, Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder after that team’s fourth appearance in the Western conference finals. So, yeah, leaving an organization that somehow can’t find your own Michael Westbrook in seven years does not seem like that difficult of a decision.
Ever since Lebron James and Dwayne Wade formed an alliance in Miami the league has been built around “mega” teams. First it was the Miami Heat, then Lebron led the Cleveland Cavaliers to three straight appearances versus the reigning super team, the Golden State Warriors. I’ll digress here to give a shout out to one of the best built organizations of all time, the San Antonio Spurs, who collected a pair of championships during this period as well.
Lebron supposedly wants the L.A. Lakers to get Davis. The Celtics supposedly want Davis as well but, by putting the word out that his days in New Orleans are coming to an end, Davis has kicked the door open for every team to make an offer. He wants out.
Star players flocking to the same team is just the way the league operates now. However, it does take the shine off of an NBA title a bit and is “less than,” in my opinion, if a player wins it on the team that drafted him.
It wasn’t really fun to see the Heat all of a sudden be unstoppable because you knew it was coming from a mile away. Just like the Warriors at Golden State who added Kevin Durant three years ago and picked up Demarcus Cousins last year. The only “fun” attached to this league anymore is if one of these teams implodes and gets upset.
So, in the end, I can’t say I’ll be rooting for Anthony when he’s donning another team’s colors but that’s just more about the current state of the league instead of his decision. The guy just wants to win some games.
Now Stop Showing that Damn Play
Honestly, how many times have you seen the no-call this week? It feels like it happened yesterday by the amount of replays that are still being shown. I get it, some lawyer sued the NFL and blah, blah, blah but, my heavens show a different highlight.
I watched a group of locals at Rendezvous Tavern get visibly upset when one sports show that repeatedly aired the non-call ended only for the next sports show to begin by showing, you guessed, the non-call repeatedly. Saints fans need a break, man.
Props to Cam Jordan for wearing his “Blow Whistles. Not Games” T-shirt at the Pro Bowl. If I were a New Orleans Saint I wouldn’t have stepped onto that field a week after the league stole their season. C’est la vie.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Courtyard Brewery’s “Extremely Easy” American Pale Ale
Playlist Recommendation: Choppa – “Choppa Style” remix
Around the Way
Evidently the Boycott Bowl is real as details have been released for the concert on Sunday. Choppa (of course) will lead a host of Louisiana bands including the Vettes and Shamarr Allen and the Underdogs.
It’s in Fulton Street, one of the few areas in the city that feels like you could be in any other city, so that’s a big red flag in my book but, if you should go, make sure to check out Michot’s Melody Makers which features members of the Lost Bayou Ramblers.