Anthony Davis: 'I Got to Play Almost Perfect' for Pelicans to Have Chance to Win

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2018

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 29: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans watches from the bench during the game against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on October 29, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images)
Justin Tafoya/Getty Images

New Orleans Pelicans superstar forward Anthony Davis said he faces "a lot of pressure" to help the team win amid a four-game losing streak early in the 2018-19 NBA season. 

On Friday, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports provided comments from Davis, who explained "If we lose, it's on me. If we win, they give my team the credit and I'm fine with that."

"So, I got to play almost perfect every night to give us a chance to win," he said. "But my teammates do a great job. Even the games I didn't play, those guys have been battling night in and night out to get victories. ... I don't try to put too much pressure on myself, but I know it's there."

Davis is averaging 25.2 points, 13.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 3.2 blocks and 2.0 steals while shooting 49.4 percent from the field, including 45.5 percent from three-point range, in five appearances so far this season. He's missed three games with an elbow injury, all Pelicans losses.

With New Orleans lacking the star power alongside the 25-year-old Chicago native to seriously contend in the loaded Western Conference, he's become the subject of trade rumors.

Last month, Mark Heisler of the Orange County Register reported "insiders think Davis will force a trade, making him the prize of a mega-star list that potentially includes Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler" during the 2019 offseason.

While it's a possible outcome since the University of Kentucky product can opt out of his contract following the 2019-20 season and the Pelicans won't want to lose him for nothing, he told Haynes his only focus is trying to win a championship.

"I really don't listen to [the noise] to be honest," he said. "I hear it from everywhere from social media, to people around you. But my biggest thing is focusing on playing basketball. That's all I can do. I can't do nothing else but play basketball to the best of my ability to help my team."

He added the team "doesn't care" about the speculation.

Haynes reported the Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks are among the teams "monitoring" the situation with the Los Angeles Lakers also expected to compete with hopes of getting Davis to line up alongside LeBron James.

For now, however, the five-time All-Star selection remains a member of the Pelicans and will attempt to carry his team into the playoffs.

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