Anthony Davis is toying with our emotions.
This past weekend, Davis was in Chicago to hoop with some youngsters at Nike’s Rise camp. While in town he also hung out with former-Bull Dwyane Wade (still weird to say) at the Chicago Sky game, making his hometown presence very much felt.
During his busy couple days, the new Los Angeles Lakers big man did take time to speak with local Chicago media, and he had some very interesting things to say.
Then put your money where your mouth is… ¯_(ツ)_/¯ https://t.co/6BbJaIkD6H
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) July 19, 2019
Davis had a pretty large compliment for his city, calling it the “Mecca of basketball” and emphasizing to the media present that they could surely quote him on that.
At first, the quote shared over twitter wasn’t taken very well by Chicago sports fans, and I can’t imagine why (massive sarcasm alert)!
Davis pushed his way out of New Orleans after he demanded a trade earlier this season. The Lakers were right at the top of his list, but nowhere on the list was his beloved “Mecca.” In fact, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst discussed back in January that Davis had no interest in putting on a Bulls uniform at all.
“One of the worst kept secrets in the league is that Anthony Davis does not want to play in Chicago, his hometown,” Windhorst said on the Brian Windhorst and the Hoop Collective podcast. “The Bulls can put together a hell of an offer, but unless Anthony Davis has had a major change of heart since I was last informed, he does not desire to play in his hometown.”
Basically six months later, from the belly of the beast, Davis is open to playing in the Windy City. According to the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson, Davis said: “If the opportunity ever presents itself and when that time comes, I’d definitely consider it.”
Sure, everything changes day-to-day in the NBA, but he did have his opportunity earlier this season when he demanded a trade to put the Bulls on that list, and he didn’t.
The team is full of young talent that wasn’t any better than the Pelicans team Davis was sitting on, so his willingness to come here being nonexistent makes sense. However, are you telling me that if that young core takes a nice leap forward this season he will consider the Bulls free agency? I’m not buying it.
The folks over on ESPN’s The Jump aren’t buying it either.
Davis is most likely saying these kind words to put on a show. After all, you’re not going to bash the city that raised you and the city you’re there to support.
Okay, but let’s say the guy is being for real. Why not, for the sake of even hypothetical Bulls free agency happiness, let’s think about Anthony Davis deciding to test the market this upcoming offseason. If the organization was run by a reliable front office (first impossible stepping stone), the storyline toward a possible homecoming rest right in front of the Bulls.
As stated previously, Chicago has a young core that just needs to prove themselves. If a guy like Zach LaVine is able to reach All-Star level this season, that’s one nice piece to the puzzle. Not to mention, Coby White could go above and beyond this season to prove himself as a future top-tier point guard who can run a high-pace, modern-style offense. Throw the team’s newfound depth into the mix, and you have something to sell.
Oh, also, there is a little thing called the All-Star game that is being held at the United Center this year. Ah, All-Star weekend, the perfect place to tamper with practically no consequences. If the Bulls were serious about this, they’d make sure Chicago was very welcoming to the big man.
But most importantly, you have the hometown vibe to sell. Nothing creates more buzz than a player returning home to “save the day.”
Yes, I know none of this is actually going to happen, but the argument could very well be made that a “go-getter” front office would hit the ground running with this opportunity. All signs point to Davis sticking with the Lakers for the next several years, but just like the Clippers did with Kawhi Leonard (and he even won a championship!), if you aggressively demonstrate that you want a player, you might just win. The Clippers reportedly had scouts watching Leonard practically every Raptors game. Now, Kawhi is home.
Okay, day-dreaming over. Possibly down the road our dreams can become a reality, but for now, Davis (or any big-time free agent) is nowhere in sight. And, no, I do not want a 36-year-old AD.
Stop toying with us Anthony, just let us sit in our sorrow!