Anthony Davis began thinking about requesting a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans around Christmas Day in 2018. The Pelicans were not on the NBA's lineup on Christmas Day last season and the team was 15-19.
“I think it was just the wins weren’t adding up, and it seemed like we weren’t making the playoffs," Davis told Yahoo Sports. "Everyone around me and everyone who knows me knows that I want to win. And I didn’t feel like we were going to be able to do that last year. I want to be able to win. We got off to a great start. We were 4-0. Then guys got hurt and little things started to go south. But my mindset at the time was to keep trying to lead my team.”
The Pelicans continued to struggled in January and requested a trade on January 28th.
"You don’t have a lot of time in this league. It goes by very fast," he told Yahoo Sports. "So for me, it was about putting myself in position where I can win before this career is over. And hopefully win several championships and have several winning seasons. That’s what was going through my head at that time. I’m not sure what the record was, but I felt like it was time for me to at least let the organization know where my head was at.”
The Los Angeles Lakers were always his preferred destination leaving the Pelicans, but Davis thought he might have to settle for another team due to the bad blood brewing between the two franchises.
“There were several teams in mind," Davis told Yahoo Sports. "My agent [Rich Paul] was doing a good job talking to the front office and management over there. He was the one communicating back and forth with them, and I was just trying to continue being a leader over there and still playing when they allowed me to. I’m not sure what was really being talked about, but the Pelicans didn’t do anything. So I still tried to lead that team, and when I got a chance to play, I played my heart out. It’s basketball. I’m still going to be a professional, and any time I’m on the floor with four other guys, I’m going to go out there and compete.”