New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis will not participate in events during the upcoming All-Star Weekend, he said in a statement after Wednesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers.
Davis sat out each of the past two games, against Indiana and on Monday against the Utah Jazz with a sprained right shoulder. He said his decision was based on the team’s chances the rest of the season.
“After careful thought and consideration, I’ve decided I will not be able to participate in this year’s All-Star competition,” he said. “I want to thank the fans for voting me into the All-game, and I am sorry I will not be able to play. ….0
“More than anything, I am anxious to get back healthy and back on the court with my teammates after the All-Star break.”
After Wednesday night’s loss to Indiana, the Pelicans (27-26) are 1 ½ games behind Phoenix, which is in the eighth and final Western Conference playoff position.
Davis, an All-Star for the second consecutive season, was the leading vote-getter among Western Conference front-court players for this year’s game, selected by fans as a starter for the first time. All-Star Weekend is Friday through Sunday in New York.
As well the All-Star game, Davis had been tabbed to participate in the Shooting Stars competition on Saturday with NBA legend Scottie Pippen, who played for Davis’ hometown Chicago Bulls, and WNBA All-Star Elena Delle Donne.
With Wednesday’s game being the Pelicans’ final one before the All-Star break, Coach Monty Williams said he’d be fine with Davis playing in the game, even though he missed the Pelicans’ past two. Williams said Davis had done everything possible to get back on the court for the Pelicans, arriving before all the team’s players and coaches to get treatment.
“I told him, ‘You could get to Saturday and be one hundred percent, and he’s earned that right to play in the game,” Williams said. “And, I don’t think anybody should take it away from him.
“It’s not like he sat out 15 games, and then the All-Star Game came and he says ‘I’m going to play.’ ”
The injury occurred when he fell hard after dunking on a fast break during the second quarter against Chicago on Saturday at Smoothie King Center, and he didn’t return. He sat out the next game on Monday against the Utah Jazz.
“He tried everything he could; he was in that training room every day,” Williams said in announcing Davis wouldn’t play Wednesday.. “He tried to practice (Tuesday). He didn’t do a lot of contact.
“But (Wednesday), he got out on the floor and wasn’t right, and I’m not going to put him in a situation where he can’t be himself. He’s still day-to-day.”
Asked if Davis’ injury could be to the A/C joint in the shoulder, which would be more serious, Williams reiterated that it is a sprain and said there is still pain.
“It’s not like the NBA is a non-contact sport,” Williams said. “So, when he goes out there, when you play the power forward position, he’s going to get hit. So, just taking those hits could make it worst.
“He made progress (in recovering), but just not enough to play.”
Williams said Davis just hasn’t looked normal in workouts.
“He’s running and doing all the stuff that he does, but he’s not holding (the shoulder) right,” Williams said. “And, that’s not a good sign. He could wake up (Thursday) or Friday and feel great, and I hope he does.”
Davis, the No. 1 overall pick from Kentucky in 2012, is averaging 24.5 points, fourth in the league, along with 10.3 rebounds and a league-leading 2.8 blocks. He is considered a candidate for Most Valuable Player.