Anthony Davis: I'm still the best in the NBA

Anthony Davis maintains that he is the best player in the NBA despite his reduced minutes for the Pelicans.

The star forward displayed MVP-caliber form early in the 2018-19 season, but he then requested a trade in January ahead of the deadline — with the Lakers a leading landing spot

However, the Pelicans didn’t deal Davis, 25, and announced that he would continue to play for the remainder of the season, though interim general manager Danny Ferry subsequently confirmed that Davis’ minutes would be reduced as New Orleans looks to the future.

That was evident on Wednesday as Davis played just 21 minutes against the Lakers, yet he still contributed 22 points in the Pelicans’ 125-119 loss.

“I feel like I am there,” Davis said after the game (via USA Today). “I am there. In my mind, that hasn’t changed. [I am] the best player in the league.”

Even as a difficult situation persists, Davis also says his mood is good.

“I am fine mentally, actually great, great mentally,” he said. “I want to play basketball. I don’t let nobody steal my joy, no matter what it is. I step between the lines and play basketball, I’m happy.

“It is just tough not being on the floor, especially in a crunch time situation.”

Davis was given a raucous reception by Lakers fans as the teams were introduced, although the player said ahead of the game that he did not care either way.