Coming off an NBA Championship, Anthony Davis must be feeling pretty good about his current situation. A star in one of the biggest, most popular cities in America, playing alongside a basketball legend in LeBron James — there is no doubt that AD is living the dream.
But it wasn’t always like that for the former Kentucky big man. In fact, in the time leading up to his trade to the Lakers, Davis was experiencing difficulty and unhappiness with the Pelicans, and it was having an impact on his ability to show up to work every day.
“I didn’t want to go to practice, I didn’t want to play. There was just a lot going on because I didn’t have that joy with me anymore. Getting into it with the fans, the media, it was just a lot. I wasn’t in a great frame of mind — a great space for me to be joyful.
Every day was like, ‘Ugh, here’s another day. I can’t wait until the season is over.’ Things like that. You’d see people say, ‘AD, you traitor!’ and I’d think, ‘What? You don’t understand what I’m going through.’
It was all wearing down on me at one time, but I had a great team around me, from my agency to my family to my friends, ‘Nah, forget what they’re saying. You’re doing what’s best for you and your family,’” Davis told Preston Ellis of SB Nation’s The Bird Writes.
“Most people think success is determined by dedication, hard work, grit, grind, which is very true, but if you’re not happy, it’s hard to be successful.”
— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) January 25, 2021
The statement isn’t really all that surprising. Many fans accused Davis of “checking out” on his team long before he demanded a trade. Even LeBron James pointed out a difference in his teammates’ behavior (and availability) from his time in New Orleans to now.
Needless to say, there is no mistaking that AD was miserable with the Pels and he was going to find a way out at some point.
After seven seasons with the team, he had just had enough. And now, after his first campaign with the Purple and Gold, he’s sitting atop the basketball world as the defending Champs.