ESPN’s nationally televised late game on Friday featured the Minnesota Timberwolves taking on the New Orleans Pelicans, and with little intrigue around the actual play on the court, the attention naturally turned to Anthony Davis.
Davis remained with the Pelicans past the trade deadline despite his agent Rich Paul’s very public request for a trade, putting the franchise and its now lame duck star player in an awkward position. Davis is healthy and wants to continue to play basketball. The Pelicans, who will almost certainly trade Davis this summer, need to rebuild, and playing Davis clashes with that plan. Plus, if Davis were to get hurt, that could torpedo his value, negatively affecting the type of haul New Orleans expects to receive for him.
Paul reportedly called the league office to voice his concern that the Pelicans would be content to sit Davis if he remained on the roster past the Feb. 7 trade deadline, and the league then informed the Pelicans that they would be subject to a $100,000 fine every game Davis sat.
Jeff Van Gundy, who never met a rant he didn’t like, was on the call for ESPN Friday night, and with no real need to address the game going on in front of him, took aim at the NBA for what he thinks has been an act of bullying.