Wantaway Davis was preparing to sit out season prior to Pelicans return
With Thursday's NBA trade deadline now passed, the Pelicans' Anthony Davis admitted he did not expect to play for New Orleans again this season after requesting a trade.
Ahead of the deadline, Davis made public his wish to sign elsewhere, with LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers said to be his preferred destination.
He was greeted with a mixed reception at Smoothie King Center on Friday when he took to the court for the Pelicans' 122-117 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves as a combination of boos and cheers were heard.
Davis showed no ill-effects of the talk surrounding his future, however, contributing 32 points, and afterwards he indicated he had been fully prepared to sit out the remainder of the season if the Pelicans had made that decision.
"Obviously, it's a business. I know their standpoint on it, and I was prepared for that [not playing again]," Davis said in quotes reported by ESPN.
"But when they told me they wanted me to play, my mindset switched and I'm focused on playing now. Anytime I step on the floor, I want to be effective. I didn't know how tonight was going to be, if I was going to make shots or not. I was able to.
"The most important thing is we got the win. I'm going to do everything I can. I'm always going to be a professional at the end of the day."
Asked about the crowd's reception of him, Davis said: "That was definitely awkward. Boo? OK. It doesn't matter to me. I'm going to go out there and play basketball. I was [surprised]. But hey, that's life, man.
"Some people are not gonna like me. I'm just happy to be back on the floor playing the game that I love."
Despite the uncertainty around Davis' long-term future, coach Alvin Gentry said: "What we're trying to do is bring back some normalcy to the whole situation."
Team-mate Jrue Holiday agreed with Gentry, saying: "You have a star player. If he wants to play, let him play. For sure, that's his passion, right? That's why Anthony's here, is to play basketball.
"He's obviously made it known that he won't sign back, but he still loves the game of basketball. I know that he loves us as players, and he's gonna go out there and play as hard as he can. If Anthony's out there, that's the best chance of us winning."