New Orleans — High hopes to start the year quickly fell-off for the Pelicans, who dealt with a ton of injuries to key players, the Anthony Davis mid-season request to be traded, their general manager being fired, and then the fall-out that ensued the remainder of the way.
“There’s been a little bit of everything,” said Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry. “Obviously the situation that we all know about. but the injury thing came about. It was not the season that we anticipated.”
“It is disappointing to me personally just because I pride myself on winning,” said Pelicans forward Julius Randle.
“Just kind of bittersweet I think is the word I would use,” said Pelicans guard Elfrid Payton. “We showed flashes of what could have been but unfortunately with injuries and things like that, we weren’t able to put it all together.”
As far as Davis’s future with the organization, we’re still hearing both sides– he wants out, but says it’s still not a done deal.
“I’m under contract still,” Davis said. “I have a year left. Obviously it’s a possibility that it could happen. I don’t have ill-will toward anybody. I know there’s still a possibility that next year I could be here as well.”
So where do his teammates stand on all of it?
“If, if, if,” said Pelicans guard E’twaun Moore. “You never know what’s going to happen.”
Call it denial, call it optimism, call it just flat-out not wanting your best player to leave, but they’re not ready to let him go.
“I’ve played with him for 6 years and hopefully I can play with him for more than that,” said Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday. “I’m going to say that he doesn’t get traded this summer. Again, I’d love to play with him. I don’t think it’s weird at all if he were to come back and play.”
But then what was the jersey he gave Jrue about during his interview? End of the season present? Or a parting gift?
“I told them you wasn’t leaving,” Holiday said as Davis was walking away.