In his first game for the Pelicans in nearly a month -- and more importantly, his first game since his trade demand -- Davis was introduced in the starting lineup prior to the team's 122-117 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, only to be booed heavily by the home crowd at Smoothie King Center.
Davis clearly doesn't want to be in New Orleans and he's only playing because the trade deadline passed without a deal and because the NBA is forcing the Pelicans' hand. It was reported earlier by ESPN's Brian Windhorst that the NBA would fine the Pelicans $100,000 for each game they sat a healthy Davis.
While it's understandable that the Pelicans crowd would boo Davis considering this is a forced marriage for the remainder of the 2018-19 season, what's ironic is that they also cheered him when he made baskets -- which would defeat the purpose of booing him in the first place.
This is hilarious. Every time AD touches the ball, he gets booed. But when he hits them buckets, like that nasty step-back J just now, they all cheer.— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) February 9, 2019
And if that wasn't awkward enough, prepare for a lot of this for the next 26 games of the regular season.
AD’s effort on defense in this first quarter has been hilarious. It’s almost like he...doesn’t want to be there and doesn’t want to get hurt.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) February 9, 2019
Davis was brilliant in his time on the court, scoring 32 points and pulling down nine rebounds in just 24 minutes, but he was conspicuously absent in a close game in the fourth quarter. Davis didn't play one minute in the fourth, which could give us an indication of how they plan to use him moving forward.
The summer cannot come soon enough for Davis and the Pelicans.