Anthony Davis Comments on Fans Booing Him; Doesn't Regret Trade Request

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 08: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts during the first half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Smoothie King Center on February 08, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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 Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis commented Friday on getting booed upon his return to the lineup after requesting a trade and recovering from a hand injury.

Davis took to Instagram after the Pels' 122-117 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves and wrote: "It's all love tho! I promise."

Davis, who was benched for the entire fourth quarter of Friday's game, was asked if he had any regrets for the way things have played out in recent weeks. Per Andrew Lopez of NOLA.com, Davis responded: "No. I never regret anything I do."

Last month, Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, informed the Pelicans that he wanted to be traded and would not re-sign with the team long term following the 2019-20 season. New Orleans opted to hang on to Davis past Thursday's trade deadline rather than rush a deal.

Despite being limited to 25 minutes, Davis finished with 32 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

Will Guillory of The Atlantic provided footage during pregame introductions:

Will Guillory @WillGuillory

Loud boos for Anthony Davis during pregame intros https://t.co/Ozvbi6tTSc

Davis was booed when he initially touched the ball Friday but cheered when he scored his first points. The mixed reaction continued throughout the night.

Per ESPN.com's Michael C. Wright, Davis said he wasn't expecting the harsh reception: "That was definitely awkward. Boo? OK. It doesn't matter to me. I'm going to go out there and play basketball. I was [surprised]. But hey, that's life, man. Some people are not gonna like me. I'm just happy to be back on the floor playing the game that I love."

Davis expanded on his thoughts in a postgame interview with ESPN's Ryan Ruocco:

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry added: "It's not the first time he's been booed ... Fans are fans. This is a loyal city; they have a right to do what they want to do."

While the Pelicans are playing Davis to give themselves the best chance to win and avoid potential punishment from the NBA, they are being cautious to avoid injury.

With Davis sitting down the stretch, Gentry utilized Julius Randle as his primary big, while wings Darius Miller and Stanley Johnson played extensively as well.

The win moved the Pelicans to 25-31, but they're still 13th in the West and trail the Los Angeles Clippers by five games for the final playoff spot.