One of the most significant and most important moves of the 2019 NBA offseason was the blockbuster deal that the Lakers made for acquiring Anthony Davis. The narrative at the time was that even though one of the best two-way players is coming to LA, the Lakers gave their entire future for him.
To remind you, the Pelicans received Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks. The Lakers gave away all of their carefully nourished young core for one superstar, and a lot of people thought that they’d sold their entire future. They’re probably kicking themselves for feeling that way. Hindsight is 20/20.
Anthony Davis got a lot of deserved criticism for the way he and his team, primarily his agent Rich Paul, handled the trade request. Now, Davis opened up about his side of the story. The big man admitted he was unhappy and that the constant losing in New Orleans was wearing him down. That’s why he requested the trade.
“When you’re losing, you don’t realize that you’re not happy. You made a ton of money. You can do whatever you want. You can live this lifestyle, quote-unquote ‘The American Dream,’ but losing sucks. I realized that I’m not happy. I want to be happy. And you kind of go through these times where it’s like, do I really want to play basketball? Am I really good enough? You start doubting yourself because you’re not happy. Or it might be stuff in your personal life where you’re not happy. Whether it’s in a relationship or family, whatever it may be. I had some of those things where it’s like I’m going through something off the court. I’m not happy, and it’s reflecting my game. It starts leading to minor injuries; you’re not playing hard enough, things like that.”Anthony Davis, The Bird Writes
Funny enough, Davis realized he was unhappy while still having two years under contract with the Pelicans. A contract he gladly signed. After telling the Pelicans front office he wanted to go somewhere else, Davis struggled to make it to the practice.
“I didn’t want to go to practice, I didn’t want to play. There was just a lot going on because I didn’t have that joy with me anymore. Getting into it with the fans, the media, it was just a lot. I wasn’t in a great frame of mind — a great space for me to be joyful.”Anthony Davis, The Bird Writes
But his sadness was washed away pretty fast. Winning a title and signing a five-year $190 million contract can be pretty relieving. And Davis’ game is showing that he feels very well in LA. His overall happiness could be much more significant if the Lakers defend the title this year.