Davis happy to be back amid boos and cheers in New Orleans
Anthony Davis said he enjoyed his return to the court after the trade deadline, despite being booed by New Orleans Pelicans fans.
NBA All-Star Davis was back on the floor from injury and a trade request as the Pelicans topped the Minnesota Timberwolves 122-117 on Friday.
Davis received a mixed reception in New Orleans after his agent Rich Paul last month revealed the Pelicans star had no plans to re-sign ahead of free agency in 2020, while the Los Angeles Lakers tried to facilitate a trade prior to the deadline.
The Pelicans center was booed and cheered in his 32-point performance, which also included nine rebounds and three blocks.
Speaking afterwards, Davis told ESPN: "It just felt good to be back on the floor. Playing the game that I love.
"Coming out, trying to help the team win. My team-mates came to me and said they wanted me to play. I just love being back on the floor. Of course I wanted to play. The injury sort of put me back. All that stuff that was going on… I just go out there and play basketball."
Davis played 25 minutes after sitting out the entire fourth quarter against the Timberwolves and when asked about his benching, he added: "I just go out there and play when I'm called upon. Go out there and help, that's what I do."
Since the Lakers' failure to lure Davis to Los Angeles, attention has turned to the mood within the Pelicans team as a wantaway player remains on the roster.
Asked if there were any issues, Davis said: "Zero. Alvin [Gentry] talked to the team when it first went down. After that, everyone handled it the way they wanted to. We just go out there and play. I'll be here for the rest of the year. My job is to play and that's all I want to do."
There have been reports Davis will not play back-to-back games for the remainder of the year.
"Talk to the coaching staff," Davis responded when asked whether he will feature in consecutive games. "Not sure what they want to do. We'll go from there. I love playing the game. It was fun being back, all the boos and all that. It was fun for me."
On his decision to sit out Davis in the fourth quarter, Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry told reporters: "I was not going to have him first game back play 38, 40 minutes. We had talked about playing 22, 25 minutes, so that's why he didn't go back in the game and I thought he played well."
"It's not the first time he's been booed guys," Gentry continued. "He's been booed before, so I think in his case all he's going to do is play, you know, and fans are fans, this is a loyal city, it's a very loyal city, it doesn't take long for you to realize that and they have a right to do what they want to do."