An owner fighting to prove he isn’t senile. An owner’s family trying to prove the contrary. An organization too cheap to pay a second, non-NFL training staff. A Team President who’s admitted to have not prioritized the NBA franchise he was supposed to be heading up. Oh, and there’s also that whole attempted murder allegation, too.
The New Orleans Pelicans have failed Anthony Davis and, in the process, done a disservice to NBA fans all over the world who can’t quite appreciate his talent because of the ineptitude that surrounds him.
Yes, he just signed a monster extension born from the belief he can lift the franchise single-handedly, but he doesn’t owe a thing to such a worthless organization. If he were to wake up tomorrow and demand a trade to rid himself of everything mentioned above, fans would probably accuse him of deserting a city, but, as is typically the case, proper context would go ignored.
Davis is somehow only 23 and belongs in any breathless conversation about the incredible youth the NBA flaunts. Think about this: In the history of the NBA, only five players have averaged at least 23 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game through their first five seasons.
The list: Kareem, David Robinson, Shaq, Hakeem and Davis. That’s insane.
This isn’t to say Davis doesn’t have holes in his game. He hasn’t played 70 games in a single season since coming to the NBA, though one would imagine his franchise refusing to spend on a training staff specializing in keeping NBA players healthy would have something to do with that.
Eric Gordon has already played as many games this year (51) as he played in three of the five seasons he spent in New Orleans. The idea that an owner would treat athletes worth hundreds of millions of dollars like this is outrageous in 2017.
Davis also has some poor habits defensively that need to be addressed, but again, context matters. In Davis’ five years, the Pelicans have gone through two coaches, implementing two very different styles of play. Monty Williams preferred to grind out games while Alvin Gentry prefers a more uptempo style. Neither has been particularly successful using either style of play, leaving the task of dragging teams to the playoffs to Davis.
Eventually, the player must look out for himself. The five years Davis has spent with the Pelicans should provide a large enough sample size to have an idea of what’s to come. Why should he have to waste away as the organization stumbles over itself as this one appears ready to do for the foreseeable future? The answer: He shouldn’t.
For whatever reason, sports fans appeal to authority in ways they’d never do at their own jobs, and that vast majority of all fans are nowhere near as talented at whatever they do as Anthony freakin’ Davis is at playing basketball. He wields the leverage to either improve his situation with pressure on the front office to get him help or force his way out of New Orleans.
Please, Anthony, do either.
We don’t appreciate “The Brow” nearly as much as we should. With athletes more empowered now than at any time in professional sports history (especially in the NBA), a talent of his level should not continue to get overlooked because his organization can’t be trusted to provide anything resembling a stable situation.
Davis continues to more than hold up his end of the bargain. It’s time for the Pelicans to do the same. If they don’t, and cry victim should he leave, they’ll fully deserve any and all of the harshest criticism NBA fans, media and players can give them.
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