The Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans have developed a kind of rivalry since the Anthony Davis trade in 2019.
Pelicans fans often make it clear they disapproved of the circumstances of Davis’ departure known when he comes to town with the Lakers. Besides, the bickering over who won the blockbuster trade continues between the two fanbases in some corners of the Internet.
As luck would have it, the Lakers and the Pelicans have been directly involved in the race for Play-In Tournament qualification this season. And, New Orleans’ two recent wins over L.A. could turn out to be the final nail in the coffin for the Lakers and their playoff hopes.
However, Davis claims his perception of the 2021-22 campaign won’t change even if his former team contributes to a potential lack of playoff basketball this year.
“Not personally for me. Maybe for them. But for me, it’s just another game,” Davis says. “Obviously, you want to win those games, but to take it that deep, I don’t look at it like that. I just try to go out and help the team. It just so happen that it is New Orleans, but they get really excited when they beat us. Their social media team does all this other things, but we just try to go out to win.
“They had the upper hand on us this year. They had all right to do so, but we just try to continue to do what we can do, but me personally, I don’t look to that.”
The Lakers have five games left to wipe off the San Antonio Spurs’ 1.0-game advantage in the standings and return to the top-10 in the Western Conference — which would earn them a spot in the Play-In Tournament.
Davis ‘felt like he had to play’ against Pelicans despite still experiencing foot soreness
Davis returned onto the court in the loss to the Pelicans after a six-week break caused by a foot injury. The 29-year-old forward said he was determined to play even though his foot hadn’t fully healed.
“I felt good. Last four minutes was definitely a struggle,” Davis said about his body. “Foot started getting a little sore, but up to that point, I felt really good. We know the situation that we’re in even though the soreness in the foot and soreness in LB’s ankle, we felt like this was a game we had to play. Obviously, the next five games as well.
“Just try to control what we can control. Our mindset is to go 5-0 in these games. Let the chips fall where they may.”
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