The Pelicans have begun to not-so-subtly distance themselves from Anthony Davis, who recently asked for a trade.
The team removed the superstar big man from a pregame intro hype video and its social media profiles.
The Pels already took AD out of their intro vid. Petty 😂 pic.twitter.com/sndEOIKHsD
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 31, 2019
Head coach Alvin Gentry says whether or not AD will suit up for New Orleans again—he’s currently out with a volar plate avulsion fracture in his left finger—is a “hard thing to answer.”
Alvin Gentry didn’t know how to answer when asked if Anthony Davis will play another game for New Orleans. pic.twitter.com/5JwUBqbK6V
— Mike Singer (@msinger) January 30, 2019
“That’s a hard thing to answer … I assume that he will,” Gentry said before Wednesday’s game. “That’s something that’ll have to be discussed about what’s best for him and best for our team.”
A league source told ESPN that Davis’ removal from the video was an intentional decision the Pelicans made in an effort to prevent negativity around Davis. “Putting his image on the big screen could just have encouraged booing.”
Despite the clear discomfort in the situation, Gentry said it’s mostly business as usual.
“It’s not awkward at all,” Gentry said. “I think if you ask every guy in the locker room, they’ll tell you the same thing. He’s the same guy. He asked to be traded, but he’s the same guy. All of a sudden his personality didn’t change and all of a sudden we don’t feel differently about him at all. It’s one of those things. We’ll have to manage it as an organization, and he’ll have to manage it as an individual and we’ll get through the whole thing.”
“AD is a good kid,” the coach added. “A good, solid kid. The guys in the locker room, obviously, like him, and he likes them. Nothing has changed from a coaching standpoint. It was within his right to do, to ask for that. It’s out there, but the one thing we can’t do as coaches and players and as a team is we can’t let that be an excuse for us or, two, affect the way we think or what we’re trying to do.”