New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis said a lot of consulting went into his decision to sit out the All-Star Game this weekend after working hard to return to the court.
“My decision on not playing was based on talking to the trainers, the coaches, (General Manager) Dell (Demps), just trying to see what route to go, just trying to figure out what the best solution would be,” said Davis, who was selected as a Western Conference starter by the fans after receiving the most votes among the conference’s front-court players.
Davis sprained his right shooting shoulder in a hard fall against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday after dunking a fast-break lob from guard Tyreke Evans early in the second quarter. He didn’t return to the game and missed the next two before the All-Star break — Monday against the Utah Jazz and Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers. All three games were at home.
Davis said with it occurring so close to the All-Star Game, he ran out of time concerning the injury, although he received a lot of treatment. Such injuries usually take at least a week to heal.
“I’m definitely blessed enough by the fans, and I really wanted to play,” he said. “I did everything in my power to get back on the floor, but it just wasn’t going to happen during the time frame.
“So, that’s a lot of what went into the decision to get the shoulder back to 100 percent. It’s just not there, yet.”
The other part, he said, was that the Pelicans are in the thick of the conference playoff race, in the 10th spot in the battle for eight berths, just one game behind.
And, along with Davis, power forward Ryan Anderson is expected to return from a sprained right shooting elbow, and starting point guard Jrue Holiday will be evaluated by the team during the All-Star break and also might be able to return. Holiday has a stress reaction in his right lower leg. Saturday will mark a month that he has been out. He was diagnosed to miss two to four weeks.
Davis said he’s disappointed he won’t be able to play in the game Sunday at Madison Square Garden in New York. And, he was to participate in the Shooting Stars competition on Saturday night, heading a team that also had legend Scottie Pippen, who won six championships with Davis’ hometown Chicago Bulls, as well as with two-time WNBA All-Star Elena Delle Donne.
However, he will not miss out on the All-Star experience, pleasure nor business. He has sponsorship appearances, and then there’s soaking up the atmosphere with the game’s elite for a 21-year-old who continues to make great strides. Davis said just being there will help in his development.
“I still feel like I’m part of the team,” he said. “Without playing, I’m still going to enjoy the experience of just being around all these guys. You can learn a lot from them. These guys are All-Stars for a reason.
“Just being around them, I can learn a lot, so I might as well take advantage of it.”
Coach Monty Williams and his Pelicans teammates had said they saw no problem had Davis been able to play in the All-Star Game after missing the final two regular-season games. The Pelicans lost both games, are on a three-game losing streak, counting the game in which he was injured, and have lost their past four home games.
“(Williams, teammates’ support) means a lot,” Davis said. “They know how blessed I am to be chosen by the fans. They supported any decision that I would make. They know I mean well by the team.
“They saw my work ethic trying to get back on the floor. But it meant a lot coming from those guys to support me.”