CHARLOTTE – Add the Boston Celtics to the Anthony Davis’ wish list.
And add some intrigue to the Anthony Davis sweepstakes.
Asked why the Celtics were not on the original list of teams he preferred to be traded to, Davis responded, “They are on my list.”
That comment made at Saturday’s NBA All-Star Game media availability sent reporters’ fingers to Twitter, and now, Celtics president Danny Ainge must be thrilled that Davis is willing to play for the Celtics. The Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks were teams on the original list reported by several outlets including USA TODAY.
He also said the Celtics were never not on his list.
Davis, who requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans but was not moved before the Feb. 7 trade deadline, also said he wanted to take charge of his future. He indicated he wanted to get a deal done before the traded deadline.
He can’t become a free agent until the summer of 2020.
“Obviously, in the game of basketball, you want to take control of your career,” Davis said. “We’re the ones who are playing. That’s what I tried to do.”
It was reported at the time there was reluctance on Davis’ part to play for Boston because he wasn’t sure about Kyrie Irving’s long-term plans with Celtics. Davis’ dad, Anthony Davis Sr., also told ESPN that he didn’t want his son to play for the Celtics because they showed no loyalty to players, citing the Isaiah Thomas situation.
Davis confirmed that winning – not the biggest payday – is what matters most regardless of market size.
“Big market, small market, it doesn’t matter,” Davis said. “My focus is winning at this point in my career and whatever that may be, it could be a small market or big market. I just want to win.”
Davis, who is represented by LeBron James’ agent Rich Paul, said he hasn’t talked to James about his situation, and when asked if wants to play alongside James some day, Davis replied, “Sunday, I definitely will,” referring to the All-Star Game.
It was the most forthcoming Davis has been since news of the trade request emerged in late January.
Davis professed his appreciation for New Orleans even though he wants to play for another team.
“When you’re somewhere for seven years, you have a love for them,” Davis said. “I have a love for the city, the fans. That’s my home. I have a couple of homes in New Orleans. I’ll always have love for the city of New Orleans. Obviously when that time comes, I’m definitely going to have a heartwarming message for them – and put it out there on Instagram like everybody else does.”
Davis also address other topics such as shutting him down for the remainder of the season, the franchise’s decision to fire New Orleans general manager Dell Demps on Friday.
“Obviously, it’s a business and I understand that,” Davis said. “When we we’re talking about in the beginning of playing or not playing, I understood from their perspective. My plan is to play the game of basketball and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”
The Pelicans dismissed Demps following a chaotic situation in Thursday’s game in which Davis left the arena to have his shoulder examined, but Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry didn’t know Davis has left the arena.
An MRI revealed a bruised shoulder, and Davis’ status for Sunday’s game is unknown, though he said he would like to play.
“I didn’t know anything about it,” Davis said of Demps’ firing. “Obviously, the Pelicans are going to do what’s best for them. My intentions are still the same no matter who the GM is. The Pelicans made a move that was best for their organization.”