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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Basketball

Kyle Kuzma: I would rather be talked about bad in LA than not talked about in Orlando

Kyle Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma explained in a very simple comment why players often want to play in big markets rather than small markets, and it all has to do with relevancy.

Kuzma was on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Friday and was asked about the media’s coverage of his Los Angeles Lakers. He says he loves all the attention.

“Obviously the national media loves the Lakers. Everybody talks about it, and when you add LeBron James to the mix — one of the greatest players — you’re going to have even more,” Kuzma said. “For me, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I want people to talk about me, good or bad. Because if you’re not, you’re not doing something right. I’d rather be talked about bad in LA than play in Orlando and not get talked about.”

Players want to be part of the conversation, they want to be thought of and not forgotten, which is a challenge many teams face. That’s part of the reason why Anthony Davis wants out of New Orleans, especially if he can be traded to the Lakers. This comment is also something the Pelicans need to consider when weighing a potential trade with the Lakers. If they believe Kuzma wouldn’t be happy playing for them — and they know Lonzo Ball wouldn’t either — then they wouldn’t have much reason to deal Davis there.

Alvin Gentry reportedly learned Anthony Davis left arena from media

Alvin Gentry

The New Orleans Pelicans organization continues to look worse and worse as the Anthony Davis saga rolls on.

Davis and agent Rich Paul left Thursday night’s game early, walking out after the star center suffered a shoulder injury in the first half. According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, it was communicated to the front office that he was leaving to get an MRI, but coach Alvin Gentry only found out about the incident after the game via the media.

On Friday, the Pelicans fired general manager Dell Demps, partially because of the fallout from this incident. It’s been said that the organization is happy with how Gentry is handling the team amidst the chaos, and you can see why, since it seems like some people haven’t bothered to keep him in the loop. No wonder he had a pretty scathing assessment of everything going on.

Report: Anthony Davis, Pelicans re-evaluating plan for playing time

Anthony Davis wingspan

The saga over Anthony Davis’s playing time may not be over yet.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Davis and the Pelicans are re-evaluating the best way to handle the center’s playing time following the All-Star break. This comes in light of the fact that the Pelicans have been limiting his minutes and sitting him late in games after being admonished by the NBA over the possibility of sitting him completely to protect him.

The situation has been exacerbated after Davis walked out of Thursday’s game early after suffering a shoulder injury, which angered and embarrassed ownership.

It is unclear what changes, if any, the Pelicans and Davis will opt to make to his minutes. Neither side can really be enjoying the current situation, but the threat of potential punishment looms if the Pelicans opt to bench Davis for an extended period of time.

Danny Ferry reportedly working on deal to become Pelicans’ interim GM

Danny Ferry Hawks

The New Orleans Pelicans announced the firing of GM Dell Demps on Friday and already have a replacement in mind.

The Pelicans are finalizing a deal to make Danny Ferry their interim GM, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ferry, a former Player of the Year at Duke, has served as GM of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks. He lost his position with the Hawks after audio emerged in 2014 of him making racist comments about Luol Deng’s character.

Ferry will be tasked with trying to improve a 26-33 Pelicans team that is at odds with its star player. Anthony Davis demanded a trade prior to the deadline but was not dealt, resulting in an awkward situation for the team. Their biggest tasks will be to find the best trade return for Davis, as well as nail the draft.

Report: Ex-Cavs GM David Griffin among candidates for Pelicans

David Griffin

The New Orleans Pelicans are searching for a new general manager in the wake of their decision to move on from Dell Demps on Friday, and one name that has already emerged as a possible replacement is David Griffin.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Griffin is one of the “preliminary possible candidates” that Gayle Benson and the Pelicans’ ownership group is considering.

Griffin served as the GM of the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014 to 2017 and helped build a championship team around LeBron James in 2016. He has been linked to some other GM vacancies since the Cavs let him go, but he has yet to take another job.

Wojnarowski was told by sources that Benson wants to “take back control from outside forces,” feeling that there has been an effort from the outside to push Anthony Davis to one of his preferred trade destinations. The Pelicans are looking for a top basketball executive who can take control of what has become an ugly situation since Davis publicly requested a trade.

Davis left the arena during Thursday night’s game after suffering an injury, and it sounds like that was a contributing factor in the Pelicans making a major organizational change.

Report: Pelicans were ‘livid’ with Anthony Davis for leaving arena after injury

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis was spotted leaving the Smoothie King Arena on Thursday night after he suffered a shoulder injury in the team’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, and that may have indirectly contributed to general manager Dell Demps losing his job.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday that the Pelicans’ ownership group was “livid” over Davis walking out. They feel the situation with the star big man has gotten out of hand, and they want a new general manager who can take back control.

Interestingly enough, Wojnarowski added that Gayle Benson and the Pelicans’ owners have been pleased with the way head coach Alvin Gentry and his staff have handled the team in the wake of Davis’ public trade request.

Davis appeared to suffer the shoulder injury just before halftime while attempting to block a Nerlens Noel shot. The Pelicans quickly announced him as out for the remainder of the game. Davis also recently suffered a finger injury and wanted to play through it, and the Pelicans reportedly wanted to sit him but faced fines from the NBA if they went that route. Since he returned from the finger injury, Davis has not played his usual amount of minutes or been as effective.

It’s no surprise that the Pelicans are trying to make organizational changes, especially when you consider the way Gentry described the team’s current situation on Thursday.

Pelicans reportedly part ways with GM Dell Demps

new orleans pelicans logo

The New Orleans Pelicans have a huge offseason coming up as they try to find a way to sort out the Anthony Davis situation, and they will not be asking general manager Dell Demps to help with that anymore.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday that the Pelicans have decided to part ways with Demps.

Davis publicly requested a trade prior to the deadline earlier this month, and the Pelicans ended up not fulfilling his request. It makes sense for them to wait until the offseason when the Boston Celtics can get in on the bidding, but perhaps they feel Demps has not done a great job of handling the situation.

We know Lakers executive Magic Johnson was critical of the way the Pelicans handled trade talks surrounding Davis, and New Orleans’ ownership might agree with him.