Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis will return to New Orleans on Wednesday in a nationally-televised game, marking his first time playing in the city since being traded to the team in June.
Davis, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with the franchise, understands that he’ll likely receive a chorus of boos upon his return. His trade request last season hit the organization like a ton of bricks, catching an already-upset fanbase by surprise.
Davis admitted on Saturday it’s been challenging not to think about the team’s upcoming game and the personal importance it holds.
“It’s hard not to think about,” Davis said. “You’re just waiting for it to happen. It’s going to be different, obviously. Going through a different entrance, being in a different locker room, all those types of things. We’ll get to it man, when it’s time to play them.
“It’s definitely something that’s kind of in the back of my mind, but I’m trying to keep everything else in front of me. Right now it’s San Antonio (on Monday). So we’ll get there, get out of San Antonio and head back there (to New Orleans). It’ll feel weird staying at a hotel, taking buses to the arena and stuff like that. It’s going to be different, but my job is just to go in there and play and just get the win.”
Through 15 games with the Lakers, Davis has averaged 25.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and three blocks per contest on 48% shooting from the floor and 36% from deep. He received overwhelming boos from fans in his first home game after requesting a trade last season, and he expects much of the same on Wednesday.
“I got a little bit of it after the trade (request), that first game against Minnesota,” Davis said. “It felt like I was on the other side. I got a little taste of it, but I know it’s going to be even worse (this time around). I don’t really know what to prepare for, but I’m happy with the win.”
There’s more from the Pacific Division tonight:
- Warriors big man Kevon Looney revealed he’s been dealing with a nerve injury for the past two-to-three years, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN (Twitter link). Looney, who’s missed the past 16 games with the injury, expects to return this coming week. He’s served as a key cog in Golden State’s rotation during his career, averaging 6.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 18.5 minutes in 80 games last season.
- The Suns have revealed plans for a makeover of Talking Stick Resort Arena, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. The arena is set to undergo a renovation worth $230MM, with 60% of the upgrades scheduled to be finished by the start of next season. “I think the community is going to be really happy about what we’ve done,” Suns managing partner Robert Sarver said. “I know the city is happy about it. We’re happy about it. They get a chance to see the design pictures. They get a chance to see what it’s going to looks like. It brings a lot of excitement.”