Already one of the best players in the NBA at just 25 years old, New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis continues to draw rave reviews around the Association. His Pelicans might be on the verge of being eliminated in the playoffs by the defending champion Warriors, but Davis continues to put up dominating performance after dominating performance.
Thus far in this year’s postseason, Davis is averaging 29.6 points and 12.8 rebounds on 52 percent shooting. It’s now led to Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry comparing Davis to an all-time great — former San Antonio Spurs five-time NBA champion Tim Duncan.
“I think any time you have a superstar player like A.D. — I think he’s got like Tim Duncan DNA,” Gentry said, via ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “He’s just a low-maintenance guy, loves being around the guys, likes being part of the team and just wants to be one of the guys that’s part of the team. And I think any time you have that, you’re probably going to have a closeness on your team.”
As his Pelicans continued to struggle with relevance in previous seasons, Davis has remained quiet. He’s not out here to gain some media attention by calling out the organization. On the court, Davis himself has been about as unassuming as they come for someone with superstar written all over him. That’s where the comparison to Duncan makes a ton of sense.
For his part, Davis isn’t backing down from talk of him being the next Duncan.
“I definitely looked up to (Duncan). He’s always calm and collective. He never gets rattled,” Davis said before Tuesday’s Game 5 outing against Golden State. “He gets to the spots he wants to get to on the post. That’s how I try to play.”
Despite Davis’ mentality and willingness to play it through with New Orleans, there’s been rumors that he might be dealt this coming summer. This isn’t coming from the Pelicans’ camp. That’s for sure. Though, the Warriors themselves are said to be interested in trading for the big man.
It will be interesting to see if Davis’ often soft-spoken mentality bleeds into the summer should his Pelicans fall short against Golden State. That will especially be true should rumors about a potential trade heat up.