AP

At All-Star Game, Anthony Davis finds himself in spotlight

Feb 17, 2019, 10:39 AM
New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) collides with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel (3) after attempting to block a shot at the end of the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. Davis kept his left arm still as he walked to the locker room shortly after fouling Noel on an attempted shot block with his left hand. When the second half began, the Pelicans announced that Davis was out of the remainder of the game with a left shoulder injury, The Pelicans won 131-122. (Credit: Tyler Kaufman, AP)
(23)

by TIM REYNOLDS, Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Anthony Davis isn’t completely sure if he’s going to play in Sunday’s All-Star game. He doesn’t know how much the New Orleans Pelicans will have him play the rest of this season. Or where he’ll play next season. Or where he’ll play the season after that, either.

So Davis, obviously, has a lot of questions.

At All-Star media day, he also had some answers.

Yes, Davis wants to keep playing through the end of the season with New Orleans. No, he didn’t eliminate Boston from the list of cities where he would consider playing. Yes, he will test the free agent market in the summer of 2020. And above all else, big market or small market, he insists that having a chance to win is all that matters going forward.

“It’s time to go play ball,” Davis said. “That’s what I’m trying to do.”

Davis — provided a shoulder strain doesn’t keep him out — will finally be LeBron James’ teammate Sunday night, when Team LeBron takes on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Team Giannis in the All-Star Game. The league’s annual showcase exhibition always comes with subplots, and this year, the one where Davis just asked for a trade that didn’t come seemed to generate more All-Star weekend buzz than anything else.

“I’m just keeping it real, to be honest,” Davis said while talking with reporters. “I knew that’s all you guys wanted to talk about. I just stated how I feel, I stated my intentions and I go on from there.”

Davis confirmed that there was a list of teams on his preferred get-traded-to list — James’ Los Angeles Lakers, along with the New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks.

He also denied that the Celtics were not on his list, news sure to delight fans in Boston and not the rest of the Eastern Conference.

“They are on my list,” Davis said.

The Lakers unsuccessfully tried to acquire Davis, and the Pelicans aren’t exactly sure what happens now. They fired general manager Dell Demps on Friday and replaced him on an interim basis with Danny Ferry, a move that Davis said caught him by surprise but also doesn’t change his thinking that a change of scenery is needed. It’s been argued that the Pelicans might be best served not playing Davis, though the NBA — which has already fined the 2017 All-Star MVP for saying he wanted a trade — would surely come down hard if they sat him for no reason.

“It’s about the best situation for me, the best fit for me,” Davis said. “When the time comes, obviously, I have to re-evaluate my situation and see what market best fits me and go from there.”

Here’s some more of what to know about the All-Star game:

DIRK AND DWYANE

Neither Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki nor Miami’s Dwyane Wade expects to play a lot in the game, which they got invited to by Commissioner Adam Silver to commemorate their NBA careers. Nowitzki is in his 21st season, all with the Mavericks, and hasn’t officially said he’s retiring. Wade is retiring after 16 seasons, most of them with the Heat.

“I’m getting old,” Nowitzki said. “This doesn’t get old. This is great to be here. Just enjoying the stage one more time.”

Wade had his son Zaire on the floor for some of practice on Saturday, as father-and-son were throwing lobs to each other.

“He has the same dream,” Wade said, “to one day be sitting up on this podium.”

CLOSE GAME?

LeBron James is hoping for a close game Sunday.

James was one of the players who decided enough was enough when it came to All-Star teams flirting with scoring 200 points, and wanted to find ways to make the game more competitive. It still doesn’t — and won’t — have playoff intensity, but last year’s game was played at a higher level than any All-Star Game had in years, a 148-145 final, and James wants that to continue.

“I know we all saw the way the game was last year, and we’re going to try to top it,” James said. “Hopefully, it can come down to the wire, like it did last year, but we’ll see. We’ll see what happens.”

NEW CAPTAIN

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo is relishing his first time as an All-Star captain.

“I’m comfortable on this stage,” Antetokounmpo said during media day.

That doesn’t mean he’s taking this lightly.

Antetokounmpo, who has led the Bucks to the NBA’s best record so far this season and is an MVP frontrunner, says the captaincy — and the mere mention of a team being called Team Giannis — is humbling.

“If you told me that six years ago … I would have never, never, never thought I would be in this position right now,” Antetokounmpo said.

MVP PUSH

Charlotte’s Kemba Walker will have the home crowd on his side Sunday night. And while Walker says he hasn’t given much thought to making an All-Star Game MVP push, many of his fellow All-Stars wouldn’t be surprised to see the Hornets’ guard take a swing at winning that award.

“Kemba is different,” said Houston’s James Harden, the NBA scoring leader and last season’s MVP. “The way he’s so crafty, his ball-handling, his shot-making ability. He’s been playing at a high level. One of the top players, definitely, as far as playing for the first half of the season, and he’s been doing it for some years now. Definitely one of those guys that gets overlooked.”

Team Giannis coach Mike Budenholzer, who will have Walker on his team Sunday, said he has a simple gameplan for the Hornets’ star.

“Turn him loose,” Budenholzer said.

BACK AGAIN

The All-Star MVPs from nine of the past 13 games will play Sunday. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis have all won it at least once. James won the award last year.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

An uprooted tree, toppled by strong winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Ian, rests in a parking...
CURT ANDERSON Associated Press

Ian makes landfall in southwest Florida as Category 4 storm

About 2.5 million people had been ordered to evacuate the area before the storm hit the coast on Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (241 kph).
1 day ago
The White House to ask for less money to fund border wall...
ACACIA CORONADO and GISELA SALOMON Associated Press

Increase in Venezuelan migration is felt across US

Last month, Venezuelans surpassed Guatemalans and Hondurans to become the second-largest nationality stopped at the U.S. border after Mexicans.
3 days ago
In Iran, protests have led to violent clashes between citizens and security forces. Protesters pict...
The Associated Press

At least 9 killed as Iran protests over woman’s death spread

The scope of Iran's ongoing unrest, the worst in several years, still remains unclear as protesters in more than a dozen cities.
6 days ago
U.S. Capitol pictured. The House just voted on an election law...
MARY CLARE JALONICK Associated Press

House passes election law overhaul in response to Jan. 6

The bill, which is similar to bipartisan legislation moving through the Senate, would overhaul an arcane 1800s-era statute known as the Electoral Count Act
7 days ago
Trump pictured. A lawsuit against Trump was just filed in new york...
Associated Press

NY attorney general sues Donald Trump and his company

Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit is the culmination of the Democrat's three-year civil investigation of Trump and the Trump Organization.
8 days ago
el helicoide caracas...
RODRIQUE NGOWI, GISELA SALOMON and CLAUDIA TORRENS Associated Press

Surprise is key part of migrant travel from Florida, Texas

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — The chief executive of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services was wrapping up work when she looked outside to see 48 strangers at her office with luggage, backpacks and red folders that included brochures for her organization. The Venezuelan migrants who were flown to the wealthy Massachusetts island from San Antonio on Wednesday […]
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
At All-Star Game, Anthony Davis finds himself in spotlight