After two playoff appearances in seven seasons, Anthony Davis requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans who eventually moved him to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Viewed by many as the next face of the NBA once LeBron James retires, Davis is ’embracing’ his next chapter and ‘wants’ to win a championship in Los Angeles now.
While this is the goal, Davis walked the walk as he declined his $4 million trade kicker in order to give the Lakers a near max-contract slot to pursue Kawhi Leonard in free agency. Although Leonard signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers still surrounded Davis with solid role players.
As the 26-year-old enters the prime years of his career, he believes not winning a championship would be ‘one of my biggest failures,’ according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“I don’t think I have a failure that I’ve had yet,” Davis told ESPN as a guest on That’s What She Said with Sarah Spain. “Obviously, at the end of my career, if I don’t win a championship that would be, I would feel that’s one of my biggest failures. But right now, I still have a lot to do in this world on and off the court.
And Davis will continue to pursue one until he succeeds:
“So I don’t feel like I’ve failed in anything. I think I just continue to do it over until I succeed at it.”
As most are upset about Davis’ trade request, the reality is he was loyal to the Pelicans for seven seasons amid constant rumors. While Davis established himself as one of the best players in the league today, the Pelicans made some poor decisions with how they constructed the roster.
With the 2017-18 NBA season being Davis’ most successful one so far, this is the first time he has played on a legitimate championship contender. Along with LeBron James, it was just as important for general manager Rob Pelinka and company to surround them with the right role players.
Although Davis will be a free agent following Year 1 with the Lakers, it is difficult to see him not re-signing after what happened. In the second-largest sports market, all eyes will be on him and it appears he likes the pressure of winning it all for one of the greatest franchises in all of sports.