Nick Schwartz • USA Today Sports
Anthony Davis returned to action for the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night at home, but some fans weren’t exactly happy to see Davis after the Pelicans’ trade deadline drama. Despite repeated offers from the Los Angeles Lakers, the Pelicans opted to keep Davis until the offseason, when they are expected to field offers from all over the league (most notably the Celtics, who can offer the Pelicans a stash of first round picks).
There had been some speculation that the Pelicans could shut Davis down for the season after the trade deadline in order to protect their most valuable asset, but NBA rules require healthy players to play. Davis had recovered from a finger injury but had been scratched from the lineup prior to the deadline, but ESPN reports that the NBA is prepared to fine the Pelicans per game if Davis is benched.
Davis received a mixed reaction from fans when his name was announced, and later said that he was surprised to hear boos from the crowd.
“That was definitely awkward. Boo? OK. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m going to go out there and play basketball. I was [surprised]. But hey, that’s life, man. Some people are not gonna like me. I’m just happy to be back on the floor playing the game that I love.”
Davis was benched for the entirety of the fourth quarter as the Pelicans beat the Timberwolves in a close game, but he still managed to score 32 points in 25 minutes.