On Monday, Los Angeles Lakers superstar big man Anthony Davis appeared to leave open the possibility of one day signing with his hometown Chicago Bulls when he was asked by a young athlete during a Nike-sponsored event if he would consider ever playing for the team.
"Honestly, it's nothing like playing at home," Davis said, per Eric Woodyard of ESPN. "I don't know. ... I mean, I am a free agent next year, but we'll see. It's a possibility."
On Tuesday, Davis walked back those remarks, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
But it wasn't the first time Davis has left the door open on one day playing for the Bulls.
"I mean, [this is] definitely hometown," he said of Chicago in July, per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. "If the opportunity ever presents itself and when that time comes, I'd definitely consider it."
Davis also told the kids at his alma mater, Perspectives Charter School, that he considered Chicago the "Mecca of basketball" during his recent event.
"I mean, it is. We've got the best basketball players ever," he said. "You look at the history with all the guys we've got that made the league and even the guys that didn't make the league. They say New York, but it's not even close."
Folks in New York would definitely disagree with that assessment, of course. But Chicago has plenty of hometown talent in the NBA at the moment, including Davis, Derrick Rose, Patrick Beverley, Jabari Parker and Kendrick Nunn.
Davis also spoke highly of his home town and said he was excited to see it host this season's All-Star Game:
"Chicago is a fun city, and as of late, people started doubting that just because of all the stuff that's going on, but hopefully that weekend we're able to show people why Chicago is as great as we know that it is. All-Star is always a fun city, and when you bring everybody back into the Mecca of basketball, it's always going to be great, so I'm excited for it and hopefully I'm able to be another All-Star and play in front of this home crowd, but I'll be here regardless."
But it's hard to imagine Davis leaving the Lakers as a free agent after making such a concerted push to get out of New Orleans in the first place last season. And Davis and LeBron James have already proved to be a dynamic partnership. It's hard to imagine the young Bulls offering him better championship odds in the coming seasons than James and the Lakers.
So, no, Davis very likely won't be signing in Chicago anytime soon, if ever. But he's also remained noncommittal on his future in Los Angeles.
"I just want to focus on this year," he said in September when asked about his free agency after the season, per Mark Medina of USA Today. "Coming here, the Lakers definitely welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like this was home. But at the same time, it's about what we can do this year. We have a special team, special unit, special coaching staff and we're going to do whatever we can to focus on this year and try to come out victorious."
One possible translation to those comments is that Davis wants to make sure the Lakers continue to position themselves as championship contenders for years to come. That, combined with his multiple remarks about Chicago, have kept open the conversation about the possibility of Davis playing elsewhere next season, even if it seems unlikely.