Pelicans Announce Plan To Play Anthony Davis For Remainder Of Season
Since the news of New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis' trade request broke 9 days ago, many felt he had played his last game for the Pels.
Whether he was traded or not didn't matter.
The consensus in many basketball circles was if he wasn't dealt before the trade deadline, the risk of playing Davis (a potential injury could destroy the team's leverage) was too great.
It appears the consensus was wrong. Davis will suit up for New Orleans tomorrow night.
Pelicans GM Dell Demps released the following statement to explain the team's decision.
“Anthony Davis will play the remainder of the 2018-19 season for the New Orleans Pelicans. A number of factors contributed to this decision. Ultimately, Anthony made it clear to us that he wants to play and he gives our team the best opportunity to win games. Moreover, the Pelicans want to preserve the integrity of the game and align our organization with NBA policies. We believe Anthony playing upholds the values that are in the best interest of the NBA and its fans. We look forward to seeing Anthony in a Pelicans uniform again soon.”
Reading between the lines of this statement, I'm of the opinion the league office has threatened to fine the team if they sit Davis.
New Orleans hosts Minnesota tomorrow night at 8:30 in a nationally televised game on ESPN.
In home games last week, Davis had been removed from the team's introductory video that plans in the arena just before tip-off. The reasoning behind the removal was to avoid booing.
When Davis is announced in the starting lineup (or when he checks in off the bench), expect boos from the home crowd.