Nearly 10 seasons ago, LeBron James played the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first time in his hometown as a member of the Miami Heat after leaving them in 2010 NBA free agency.
From Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s Comic Sans letter to fans burning James’ jersey, a player was never more hated.
While James returned and delivered their first championship in the 2016 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, Anthony Davis faces a similar situation as he faces the New Orleans Pelicans for the very first time since the trade.
As Davis is ‘excited to play’ his former team, James shared his experiences, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“I talked to him,” James said, “because I know what it’s like going into a situation where you would call home for seven years. … He’s a kid when he got there, and he became a man along that seven-year journey, so it’s just going to be a different situation for him personally.”
Since Davis will likely be booed for his trade request despite seven seasons, James had some good advice for him:
“The greatest thing is when you finally get on the floor and that ball tips up,” James said. “There’s nothing but strictly basketball, and everything else doesn’t matter at that point.”
While there are debates about how Davis should have handled his trade request during the 2018-19 NBA season, the reality is the Pelicans did not do enough to keep him.
Although the Davis trade rumors hurt both teams during the 2018-19 NBA season, the Lakers and Pelicans are where they want to be. Davis has an opportunity to win his first championship while the Pelicans have an incredible young core and draft picks for what should be a quick rebuild.