Davis didn't fail the Pelicans; the Pelicans failed him.
For seven years, we had Anthony Davis. Now, he's gone.
Well, he's not gone just yet, but he will be in the near future. It's just a matter of time before his departure becomes an inevitable reality.
This week, the news broke that Davis informed Pelican ownership that he has no plans to re-sign with the team this offseason. As a result, he formally requested that the team trade him.
I don't think you're going to see many people give Davis the LeBron James treatment. I don't think you're going to see countless videos of jaded Pelican fans burning his jersey. I don't think you'll see billboards popping up all over town taking shots at him.
Because if we were in his shoes, we'd all probably do the same thing. Davis didn't fail the Pelicans; the Pelicans failed him.
General Manager Dell Demps and the rest of the New Orleans brass had seven years to put a team around him that could compete for a championship, and for the most part, they failed. They failed miserably.
I'm upset to see the Pelicans lose such a special player, a player that was the face of the organization, but it doesn't hurt as much as it should--at least, not yet. I saw the writing on the wall this summer. I knew this would be Davis' fate all along.
And as I stated before, I don't blame him. He hung around as long as he could, but by this time, it's obvious he'll never sniff an NBA title in New Orleans. So, he wants to go to an organization that gives him an opportunity while he's still in his prime.
Demps and the Pelicans had a golden ticket that fell right into their laps, and they wasted it. They wasted one of the greatest players of this generation. They wasted seven years of his career.
For that, there needs to be wholesale changes.
I don't like to be that guy that calls for someone's job, but it's time for Demps to go. He had his chances to make this thing work, and he failed over and over again. It's clear that New Orleans will never become a legitimate contender in the Western Conference as long as he's pulling the strings.
It was Demps that shipped Chris Paul. In fact, the original trade he proposed for the Lakers was so bad that NBA Commissioner David Stern had to step in and squash it.
It was Demps that brought in guys like Omre Asik, Alexis Ajinca and Solomon Hill and paid them bundles of money. They never came close to living up to the steep price invested in them.
He did pull off some good moves. He brought in Jrue Holliday and Rajon Rondo. He pulled off a trade that shipped DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans.
Last year, it looked like things were on the rise. The Pelicans made the playoffs as the No. 6 seed and swept the Blazers in the opening round. It marked their first series victory in a decade.
With Davis' contract winding down, this summer was crucial to his future in New Orleans. Demps had to find a way to keep the momentum going and make a transaction that would allow the team to take that next step.
It didn't happen. It was back to taking one step forward, and then taking two steps back.
Cousins left town to join the Warriors for $10 million less. Then Rondo, who averaged nearly a triple-double in the playoffs, left to join the King's court in Los Angeles.
Losing those two guys has translated into a 23-29 record. They're currently five games back of the No. 8 seed in the west.
That's not close to good enough.
In losing your franchise player, you might as well start from scratch. Demps should go. Head coach Alvin Gentry should go.
And it's time for the organization to give the team as much time and effort as the Saints. Because right now, it's painfully obvious the Pelicans are second fiddle, and if that's the way you want to treat a franchise, then you shouldn't have one in the first place.
You can't run a basketball team with football guys. Mickey Loomis is a football GM; he is not a head of basketball operations.
The silver lining in all of this is at least Davis didn't just jump ship without allowing the Pelicans to get something in return.
They have time to mull over the perfect trade and receive as many offers as possible. They have the chance to bring in a nice haul, including the possibility of drafting Duke phenom Zion Williamson.
If that happens, let's just hope they don't waste seven years of his career, as they did Davis.