It seems everything is going in Anthony Davis‘s way lately. After winning his first NBA championship with the Lakers, he signed a five-year extension worth $190 million, and now he and LeBron with the improved roster have a very good shot at going back-to-back. They even can win multiple championships together if the Lakers keep their core players together, but it’s definitely still too early to talk about that.
Davis was a significant piece in the Lakers championship run during the bubble and established himself as a dominant two-way player, which earned him many positive points and acknowledgment in the NBA community. However, not everyone is pleased with Davis and his actions. In a recent interview on The Ringer podcast, Bill Simmons talked about Davis and how he poorly treated the New Orleans Pelicans, with whom he spent the first seven years of his career.
Simmons argues that Davis treated the Pelicans franchise with dishonesty while acting as a true primadonna. After signing a five-year deal with the team, he demanded a trade to the Lakers and was even sitting out games and obstructed the team on purpose. The problem Simmons sees is that the media and the fan base didn’t critically judge his decision but somehow supported his unprofessional decision.
You get villainized if you pull an Eli Manning or John Elway on draft day or demand a trade, but if you do that in NBA, everyone will say, “you do you, or he only has so many years to make money.” What Anthony Davis did to New Orleans was genuinely lousy. He signed a 5-year extension halfway thru, “yea can you trade me now, and only to the Lakers.” The internet was like, “he is only using his leverage!”. That never sat right with me.Bill Simmons, via The Bill Simmons Podcast
You can also argue that Davis had the right to do what he did because the Pelicans didn’t make the right moves to make them a championship contender. However, suppose you are paid such unimaginably large sums of money to play basketball and sabotage the team on purpose while creating a lousy atmosphere around the team. In that case, you definitely deserve to be criticized.
All that controversy is now in the past, and both teams got what they want. Lakers received a great complimentary piece to LeBron, which proved to work, while the Pelicans received a lot of young and talented players, and the future looks bright for the team from New Orleans.