Davis admittedly felt some mixed emotions in his return to the Smoothie King Center for the first time in the 2019-20 NBA season. Pelicans fans wasted no time in letting him know where they stood after showering him with boos from the tip.
Davis answered back and even overcame an injury scare by scoring a season-high 41 points while solidifying the win with multiple clutch plays down the stretch. Although Davis has downplayed any notion of bad blood between him and his former team, there is no question the script could not be written any better for his first game back in New Orleans.
Davis says he has plenty to be thankful for after their ninth consecutive win, via Spectrum SportsNet:
I’m thankful. Thankful for this guy No. 23. Thankful for the Lakers organization. Man, they been nothing but great to me and we’ve been able to compete at a high level. They put me in great situations and like I said, we’re trying to do something special. They put the right pieces around me and LeBron to do so, but I’m thankful for the game of basketball.”
It was quite an eventful night for Davis after scoring more points in his first game against his former team than any other player in history. While Los Angeles will surely look to take precautions with the elbow injury he sustained during the game, his performance indicates that it does not appear to be too severe.
Davis was hardly the only player on the court dealing with a healthy dose of nostalgia with Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart also playing an active role on the other end. Even if the trade did not go down on the best of terms for either side, the players involved can now officially close the chapter on a pivotal point in their respective careers.
Fortunately, it is clear the Lakers are now at a much different stage in their rebuild at 16-2 going into Thanksgiving Day.
Davis may continue to be coming to grips with being a Laker, but he has not allowed the new changes and high expectations affect his play in the slightest.