Scoot: Should Anthony Davis be loyal to New Orleans?

January 28, 2019 - 10:30 am

As social media lights up with Pelicans’ star Anthony Davis saying through his agent that he wants to be traded, the question of whether A.D. owes loyalty to the city of New Orleans can be asked; and the answer is NO.  This may sound harsh, but Anthony Davis does not owe loyalty to New Orleans.

A.D.’s agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN, “Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship.”  A.D. is a young, star athlete - why shouldn’t he want to be on a team that gives him a chance to be a champion?  And it’s obvious that team is not the New Orleans Pelicans.

Anthony Davis was a superstar college basketball player with a promising NBA career; and at the time he was available to be drafted by an NBA team, the New Orleans Pelicans were in the fortunate position to get him.  The Pelicans have an unbelievably talented player in Davis around which they could have built a championship team - but they did not and there appears to be little evidence that the New Orleans franchise is dedicated to creating a winning NBA team.

Pelicans’ General Manager Dell Demps has been widely criticized, locally and around the league, for a failed mission to build a championship NBA team.  As great as Davis is, fan support for the Pelicans has been sporadic at best. 

Here’s the big problem: the Pelicans are owned by Gayle Benson with Saints’ executive vice president and general manager Mickey Loomis also serving as the head of operations for the Pelicans.  This appears to be an unhealthy situation that puts the Pelicans in the shadow of the Saints.  First of all, does Mickey Loomis have the knowledge and expertise to guide the Pelicans to a championship level?  Secondly, why would the Saints not be a top distraction for Loomis at the expense of the Pelicans?

Since it is understandable for Mickey Loomis to focus his attention on the more successful franchise of the Saints, he does not appear to be in a position to give the Pelicans franchise the attention required to turn the team into a winning team. 

It seems the Pelicans are ultimately run by an executive that has the satisfaction of leading a winning franchise without pursing the absolute best for another professional sports franchise.  If the Pelicans had an executive who completely controlled the team from the front office to the players on the court, then the desire to be the best would be the sole interest of that executive.

With all due respect to Mickey Loomis and stepchildren everywhere, the Pelicans appear to be nothing more than a stepchild of the Saints.  If the goal is to keep top talent, then that must change.

There are those who argue that New Orleans is not an NBA city and there simply is not enough money in the market to support two professional sports franchises.  I’m not so sure.  While I do recognize the limitations of the market, I think New Orleans might support an NBA franchise with the goal of winning rather than just fielding a team.

Pelicans’ GM Dell Demps has not been a successful leader with a commitment to win in the NBA; and for that reason, it is time for a change.  And the change should a new GM with the freedom to make decisions without answering to the person who is the leader of a successful NFL franchise.  And maybe a coaching change is also necessary. 

I image that if Mickey Loomis’ only job was to lead the Pelicans then much more emphasis would be placed on the importance of winning - but that’s IF Loomis has the knowledge required to lead an NBA team.

The Pelicans were in a fortunate situation to land Anthony Davis, but Anthony Davis has been in the unfortunate position of playing for a team that will not allow him to reach the goals that match his innate talent.

New Orleans did not make Anthony Davis - Anthony Davis helped make the Pelicans relevant.  The bottom line is that A.D. does not owe loyalty to New Orleans - New Orleans owes loyalty to A.D. by surrounding him with a winning team.  And the franchise has failed to do so.

As a native of New Orleans, I have often pointed out that this city has a tendency to think that everyone wants to be here because we are New Orleans.  And that goes for business as well as a professional sports team.  In order to attract the best in any field - New Orleans has to be the best it can be and not rely on the fact that we are great just because we are New Orleans.

I love this city and we are great in many ways, but we’re not great just because we are New Orleans.

Do you blame Anthony Davis for wanting to be traded?

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