Anthony Davis gives the New Orleans Pelicans a firm grip on the game with his gutsy stand in the fourth quarter. AFP

Anthony Davis unfazed by Lakers drama after Magic exit
(Agence France-Presse) - April 11, 2019 - 10:02am

LOS ANGELES – New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis said Magic Johnson's shock departure had not changed his view of the Los Angeles Lakers as he mulls his options for next season.

Davis was at the center of one of this season's most acrimonious NBA soap operas after submitting a trade request in January with the Lakers believed to be his preferred destination.

The move stalled however after negotiations between the Lakers front office, led by Johnson, and the Pelicans collapsed.

Johnson on Tuesday (Wednesday Manila time) stunned the Lakers by resigning as president of basketball operations, plunging the iconic franchise into a new crisis after another disappointing season.

However Davis told reporters on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) in an end-of-season interview that the chaos at the Lakers had not affected his opinion about the team.

"I have no idea what's going on over there," Davis said. "What's going on with the Lakers — I got a lot of other stuff to worry about."

Asked if Johnson's resignation had changed the way he thinks about the team, Davis replied: "No. They're a great organization. Just like 29 other organizations. I have nothing to do with that."

Davis meanwhile gave little away about his plans for the future, even raising the unlikely possibility that he may yet remain in New Orleans next season.

"I'm under contract still," Davis said. "I have a year left. Obviously it's a possibility it could happen. I don't have ill will towards anybody. I know that it's a possibility that next year I could be here as well. So I can't be mad if I'm here next year."

Davis said he was waiting to see who the Pelicans chose as general manager following the firing of Dell Demps in February.

"Seeing what happens," Davis said. "Seeing who the Pelicans make their GM and having a conversation with that person about the future.

"My time here has always been great. I love playing here. It's something that I will definitely hold in my heart forever, but the next step is waiting on the Pelicans to fill the GM job."

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry meanwhile said the saga surrounding Davis and the Lakers this season had been the most "toxic" episode he had witnessed.

"Never this toxic, no," Gentry said. "Not that affected two teams. And two guys. One lost his job, and the other one resigned from his job. So no, in 31 years I hadn't had anything that would equal this kind of fallout."

ANTHONY DAVIS LAKERS MAGIC JOHNSON NBA
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