The Anthony Davis trade saga has been over for months now but that doesn’t mean that the hard feelings stemming from it are gone.
In a recent promotional video for the New Orleans Pelicans, the team’s executive vice president seemed to take a not-so-subtle dig at the former Pelicans’ superstar (transcript via ESPN):
“Not everyone’s made to be a part of this, and that’s OK. We’re comfortable with that. If sex appeal is your thing and you need a big market, OK. See you later. If doing something meaningful for people who care about supporting their teams every day is important, this is something you’re going to want to be a part of.”
Of course, Griffin’s comments did not fly under the radar and the now Lakers’ franchise man was asked about it on ESPN’s The Jump (transcript via ESPN):
“That’s fine. I don’t care,” Davis said Friday in an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump during Lakers media day. “I mean like, the past is the past, you know? I didn’t hear that. But look, I love the city of New Orleans. I’ve been there seven years, gave my all — six and a half — gave my all. And it was fun times, you know. It was fun times.”
Of course, Griffin and the Pelicans have the difficult task of keeping an already small fanbase engaged despite losing a generational talent like Davis. Having star rookie Zion Williamson in the fold is a start, obviously, but if the team does not develop into a playoff contender over the next few years, they could risk losing out on even more fan interest. Keeping fans engaged through these types of comments at the player that has just asked to leave the franchise is not an uncommon tactic.
That said, Davis is saying the right things in being civil and moving on from an ugly situation. There will be more times this season – particularly when he makes his return to New Orleans – where his trade request will be a central storyline but as long as he continues to look to the future with his current team, no comments from executives will get under his skin.