Don’t look now but the Lakers are … well, still pretty bad. But they have won four out of five with Anthony Davis averaging 33.4 points on elite 64.4-percent shooting over that span. Finally healthy (though who knows for how long), the All-Star forward’s resurgence continued with another herculean performance Friday night, contributing 25 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots in a win over San Antonio.
In his post-game interview with Spectrum SportsNet reporter Mike Trudell, Davis was asked about teammate Lonnie Walker, who stuffed the stat sheet with 18 points in the winning effort. Returning to San Antonio for the first time since his departure as a free agent, Walker was welcomed back with a tribute video on the arena jumbotron, prompting Davis to call out his former team, the New Orleans Pelicans, for snubbing him under similar circumstances.
“Came out hot, obviously first time back at home. Probably a little emotion for him. Gave him a tribute. Wish I had one of those,” said Davis, lamenting the tepid response he received upon his return to the Big Easy in 2019. “It’s good that he played well tonight. It’s good that they gave him a tribute and celebrated him tonight.”
Davis, of course, is leading the witness here, leaving out needed context including what events precipitated his messy divorce from the team that drafted him first overall in 2012. Frustrated by the Pelicans’ lackluster play, Davis requested a trade, a betrayal that forever tarnished his reputation in New Orleans. In particular, fans were outraged by Davis wearing a custom t-shirt reading “That’s All Folks!” (a reference to both the famous Looney Tunes catchphrase and his desire to be traded) before his final game of the 2018-19 season, a slight that would be his lasting legacy in the Crescent City.
While Davis did help the Lakers to a championship, albeit under unusual circumstances in the Orlando “Bubble,” the Pelicans are well-positioned for the future, boasting a potent roster of young stars led by Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum and Herb Jones. The Lakers, meanwhile, are trending in the opposite direction, propped up by injury-prone veterans, most of whom are well past their prime. In case you were wondering, the Lakers make two trips to the Smoothie King Center this season—the first scheduled for February 4th followed by a second visit March 14th.