The Los Angeles Lakers acquired Anthony Davis via trade this offseason but it came after a lengthy saga that saw the star player become a healthy scratch for the team that he led for seven years. Davis’ time with the New Orleans Pelicans ended unceremoniously with only two playoff appearances to show for it and a public trade request ending his goodwill within the fanbase.
Despite the criticism, however, Davis is standing firm in his decision, as he told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he thought he did what was best for him and the Pelicans.
AD: I knew I wasn’t gonna sign an extension and that my time in New Orleans was definitely coming to an end. And, you know, I see a lotta people that say, “Wait –” or “You shoulda did it this way, that way.” But for me, I’ve been in the league long enough. I’m a grown man. I know what I want. And so I thought doing it at that time was definitely going to be beneficial for myself and for the organization to get the best package available, so that way the organization is still set.
ESPN: Do you wish you did anything differently?
AD: No. I wish I did it the way I did it. I’m a person who’s very upfront and honest. You know, I want to tell you what it is. I love the city of New Orleans, but from a professional standpoint and occupation in basketball, I felt like it was time for me to move on.
Davis also spoke about taking control of his life, rather than listening to what others wanted him to do, something he had previously maintained during his introductory press conference with the Lakers.
There’s no clear answer for what Davis should have done. It’s objectively true that by requesting a trade he put a lot of pressure on two separate organizations. But he was also able to make a move to his preferred destination where he believes he has a better chance at winning a championship all while making sure the team that drafted him got a lot of value back in return.
At the end of the day, Davis did what he thought was best for him and that’s truly what matters.