Los Angeles officially introduced Anthony Davis as a member of its franchise Saturday as he made his first comments as a Laker on a “history-shifting day.”
Introduced by general manager Rob Pelinka as “the most dominant young basketball player in the world,” Davis made three things clear:
He’s happy he got traded. He’s confident about the Lakers’ title chances with all the roster changes. And he’s excited to play with DeMarcus Cousins again.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 13, 2019
Here’s what we learned from Davis’ first comments as a Laker:
Davis is happy he got traded
It was the biggest question of the offseason: Will Davis stay with the Pelicans, or will New Orleans grant his trade request? The Pelicans and Lakers had been engaged in negotiations before the trade deadline in February, but they failed to agree on a deal.
Months later after the season ended, the Pelicans made it a priority to move Davis as they reached a deal with New Orleans. The Lakers acquired the six-time All-Star in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and three first-round picks.
Davis explained the uncertainty of his future was the hardest part of the trade, but also revealed he’s excited to be in Los Angeles with LeBron James.
“When it was announced that I was being traded, I wouldn’t say it was a sigh of relief, it was just something that I thought about for a long time,” Davis said. “Obviously, it was tough for me to leave a city I’ve been playing for for seven years, but when I found out I was getting traded to the Lakers, I realized it was an unbelievable opportunity for me to be here.”
Davis went on to explain how he found about the trade — through Instagram because he missed his agent’s call.
“I was watching a movie and my agent called me,” Davis said. “In the middle of a movie I don’t like to answer my phones and texts and then he called me again and so I kind of like hid it and then I was like wait, let me call him back. When I called him back, it went straight to voicemail. And so me being a 26-year-old I went straight to Instagram and that’s when I saw it.”
Davis is confident about Lakers’ roster
The Lakers wanted to land another star in free agency to complement James and Davis, so they targeted Kawhi Leonard. But Leonard ended up signing with the Clippers, instead, which resulted in the Lakers signing and re-signing a number of players.
Davis expressed how excited he is about the players the Lakers added, while also sharing how much confidence he has in his new team.
“It’s going to be fun,” Davis said. “I’m excited about it. I think the league has grown, I think it’s better. All the players teaming up and kind of spreading that talent throughout the league — it’s going to be a fun season. I like our roster, I like every player that we have. From one through 14, and so I’m excited about it.
L.A. signed DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green, Jared Dudley, Quinn Cook and Avery Bradley. They also re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso and JaVale McGee.
“I’ll put our roster up against anybody,” Davis added. “I feel like in a seven-game series, we’ll come out victorious.”
Davis can’t wait to play alongside Cousins again
The pair played together for the Pelicans for part of two seasons after Cousins was traded to New Orleans from Sacramento in 2017. Their run was cut short when Cousins ruptured his Achilles midway through the 2017-18 season and eventually signed a small, 1-year deal with the Warriors that offseason.
And now they have an opportunity to do it all again.
“I loved playing with Boogie,” Davis said. “Obviously, we didn’t want it to end. … Now we have the opportunity to reunite in a great situation.”
Cousins revealed earlier this week the two had discussed reuniting.
“Me and A have talked about it numerous times, about being teammates again,” Cousins said. “We never wanted it to end but everything happens for a reason.”