The LA Lakers’ fortunes might have been different during the 2019-20 NBA season had Anthony Davis decided to play for the Indiana Pacers long ago. In the latest NBA news, the Lakers big man confirmed that he and Paul George had spoken about the possibility of teaming up previously.
On a recent episode of “All The Smoke” podcast, George revealed that he and Davis had discussed a scenario where the two of them were on his Indiana Pacers team.
A 6-time All-Star, Paul George played for the Pacers for seven seasons before moving on to play for other teams.
NBA News Roundup: Anthony Davis confirms conversation he had with Paul George
Anthony Davis spoke to reporters after the LA Lakers’ practice on Sunday and commented on what Paul George recently said about playing together on the Indiana Pacers.
"The Paul thing and Indiana, it was a conversation for sure,” Davis said. “It kind of just faded away. You know, I'm not sure what happened on their end. He said that management didn't want to do it, whatever."
It’s hard to imagine Pacers management not agreeing to a trade that would have netted them one of the league’s best players. Indiana would have definitely been title contenders with Paul George and Anthony Davis on the same squad.
Perhaps, the Indiana Pacers management’s inability to acquiesce to George’s request is one of the reasons why he wanted to leave the Indiana Pacers and join another team in the first place.
Eventually, George ended up on the Oklahoma City Thunder team and is now on an LA Clippers squad that’s built to compete for an NBA championship for years to come.
As for Anthony Davis, he joined the LA Lakers more than a year ago, forming an unstoppable duo with 4-time MVP LeBron James to power the Purple and Gold to the 2020 NBA title.
Davis could only wonder what his career would have been like had he joined the Pacers years ago.
“But who knows what would have happened with Paul in Indiana?” Davis added. “He’s another great player especially when he was in Indiana. He was definitely tough to guard. He’s still tough to guard today, but I think that was so long ago that we’ve played each other many times since then. But you always think about what could have happened. Would my career be a lot different than it is now?”
NBA News Roundup: Adam Silver sees expansion as NBA’s destiny
In other news, NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke about the possibility of an expansion of the league in the future. On Monday, the commissioner spoke with reporters about the future of the NBA:
"I think I've always said that it's sort of the manifest destiny of the league that you expand at some point. I'd say it's caused us to maybe dust off some of the analyses on the economic and competitive impacts of expansion. We've been putting a little bit more time into it than we were pre-pandemic. But certainly not to the point that expansion is on the front burner."
While Silver had previously said that the league wasn’t considering expansion, the coronavirus pandemic has certainly affected the NBA’s long-term plans.
As expansion usually breeds mediocrity and many poor-performing teams, Silver addressed this concern as well.
"You know, we're very appreciative of the markets that have indicated an interest in having an NBA team," Silver said. "One of the issues for the league office, and this comes up all the time in terms of competitiveness, it's not a secret that we don't have 30 competitive teams at any given time right now when you go into the season, measured by likelihood of ability to win a championship.
Silver also said that the NBA's idea of expansion is economic in nature. He explained:
"One of our focuses as the league office is always on how do you create better competition. So that's one of the things that we continue to think about as we consider expansion... It's an economic issue and it's a competitive issue for us. So it's one that we'll continue to study, but we're spending a little bit more time on it than we were pre-pandemic."
The last team to join the NBA was the Charlotte Bobcats, now known as the Hornets, way back in 2002.
If the league were to expand, in all likelihood, it could be similar to the four-team expansion that happened in the late 1980s when the NBA added the original Charlotte Hornets (which became the New Orleans Pelicans), Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Orlando Magic.
Published 22 Dec 2020, 09:22 IST