Jeff Van Gundy says the NBA is bullying the Pelicans by threatening them with fines if they don’t play Anthony Davis
The trade deadline has passed, and the New Orleans Pelicans haven’t traded All-Star forward Anthony Davis. The 25 year-old superstar publicly requested a trade from the franchise two weeks ago, following the team’s disappointing mid-season record.
The Los Angeles Lakers pursued Anthony Davis, offering the Pelicans multiple trade packages in order to convince them to trade arguably one of the five best players in the league right now. But the team’s front office stood its ground despite the pressure from Davis’ camp.
When the trade deadline passed, Davis made it clear that he intends to play with the team for the remainder of the season. However, the Pelicans thought about the idea of shutting him down this year, something that the league officials did not like.
The NBA threatened the Pelicans a fine of $100,000 per game if the team decided to let a healthy Davis sit out, or play less than 25 minutes.
NBA commentator Jeff Van Gundy did not like this move by the NBA, and had strong words for the people who’ve made this decision. He addressed the issue while calling the game between the Pelicans and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Strong words from JVG for the NBA and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson, regarding playing Anthony Davis. Says the NBA is bullying her with fines, says the league is wrong, and that she has missed an opportunity to take a stand for her team and all small market teams. pic.twitter.com/1uBDMTxVsU
— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) February 9, 2019
“I think their owner Gayle Benson has missed out on an opportunity to take a stand for her team, and small market teams in the NBA,” Jeff Van Gundy said.
“Anthony Davis, one of the five-best players in the NBA, publicly requested a trade, and now the NBA is trying to bully her with unduly harsh fines? If I was her, I’d say I’ll pay the fines, but at the end of the day, I’m going to do what’s best for my franchise.”
The Pelicans did oblige to the league’s demands, as they allowed Davis to play exactly 25 minutes before pulling him out for good.
AD finished the game with 32 points and nine boards, and the Pelicans beat the Wolves 122-117.
It is clear that the relationship between the Pelicans and Davis has been damaged by all the drama that unfolded during the trade deadline. Now that it’s just a matter of time before both sides part ways, it’s unclear whether or not they will be able to patch things up.