Anthony Davis won’t be in uniform during NBA All-Star weekend, but his presence still figures prominently all over New York. With his image plastered over NBA promos and Nike advertisements it’s hard to tour the city without encountering Davis’ towering frame.
When the New Orleans Pelicans announced that Davis would miss the game while recovering from a right shoulder sprain, Davis said he still wanted to participate and take in as much of the weekend as he could. Two days into the experience, he’s found plenty of ways to stay busy. Although Davis was disappointed he won’t be participating in Saturday night’s Shooting Stars competition or Sunday’s main event, he was still proud to be in New York, representing the Pelicans.
“It’s an honor,” Davis said. “Being selected as a starter in my third year, it’s just an honor, and I’m glad I could be a part of it.”
Davis kicked off his All-Star weekend with a Nike appearance on Thursday afternoon and started Friday morning by visiting ESPN’s Mike and Mike show to discuss his basketball development. Davis spent his afternoon making an appearance at an NBA Fit Celebration Day of service and his evening signing autographs at the NBA House.
The growth of Davis’ game was also a topic of conversation during Friday morning’s media availability session at the Sheraton Hotel. Despite receiving 1,369,911 votes from fans to be voted in as a Western conference starter — trailing just Stephen Curry and LeBron James — the rise from high-school basketball player to NBA superstar has been a whirlwind for Davis.
“At this time last year I never thought that. Five years ago I never thought I would be in a position,” Davis said. “So it’s still weird. I still sit back and just realize how far I’ve came and how blessed I am.”
While the 21-year-old is still processing all that has happened since he was drafted first overall by New Orleans in 2012, it was obvious from the number of reporters surrounding Davis’ table and the questions being asked in his media availability that Davis’ star has arrived.
Reflecting back on all that’s changed for him over the past five years, Davis showed his humility.
“I think going back and looking at my old pictures [is really crazy],” Davis said. “Watching high school film, like, ‘This is how I used to play. This is how I used to look.’ I think that’s the biggest thing. [I look at it and think] I wasn’t good at all.”
Davis revealed that he was 212 pounds when he came into the league and weighs in at 240 now and said that the added size was the biggest thing contributing to his success as a pro.
“At the end of the day it’s getting stronger,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of grown men in this league and they’ve got a lot of strength and power. For me, the biggest thing was getting stronger and being able to hold my own.”
Looking at how easily Davis fits in amongst his All-Star colleagues, it’s clear that he’s able to hold his own on and off the court.