On Wednesday morning, Fox Sports Analyst Skip Bayless had some stern criticism of former Kentucky Wildcats star, NCAA Champion and five-time NBA all-star Anthony Davis. Davis is in his sixth year (all with the New Orleans Pelicans) after being drafted first overall in the 2012 NBA draft.
The former Wildcat led his team to a 38-2 record while winning a NCAA championship at Kentucky, the school’s first in over a decade.
In his first season with the Pelicans, Davis was named to the all-rookie first team. He’s been selected to five all-star games with two all-NBA selections in just six seasons. Davis has led the league in blocks twice with as many all-defensive team accolades.
It’s no question that Davis is considered a top 5-10 player in the NBA and has been for the last few seasons.
So why is Bayless throwing shade at the star big man?
Just ask Lebron James.
After moving from ESPN to Fox Sports a year and a half ago, Bayless started a new show called Undisputed with Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe.
Wednesday morning, though, Bayless had this to say about Davis.
"Anthony Davis puts up empty calorie numbers... they don't translate to wins. He's the only #1 overall pick in NBA history who is winless in the post season so far." — @RealSkipBayless pic.twitter.com/TSwv0QoyAz— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) February 21, 2018
Bayless is the best at taking facts and twisting them to support a false argument. That’s one of the main aspects as to why he’s stayed on TV this long. However, the facts of Davis’s numbers being “huge” but not leading to playoff success don’t necessarily correlate.
The New Orleans Pelicans were not only a complete dumpster fire when they drafted Davis, but they’re also considered to be the worst NBA market.
Other than giving up all of their assets for Demarcus Cousins at last year’s trade deadline (the two have yet to have a full season together following Cousins; season-ending Achilles tear last month), the Pelicans have failed at both drafting players and signing anyone in free agency.
They traded former Wildcat Nerlens Noel + a draft pick (later became Elfrid Payton) to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday. The deal seemed like a huge swing to give Davis some help and trend the franchise in the right direction.
However, Holiday has since played just 206 of 328 possible games and hasn’t matched the season-long production he put up in Philadelphia.
Other than Holiday, the best players Davis has played with are Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Ryan Anderson and Rajon Rondo. Rondo is at the end of his career while Gordon and Evans had their worst years as a pro while in New Orleans. Anderson complimented Davis with outside shooting but was nothing more than a role player.
Davis has been the opposite of beneficiary from a supporting cast, yet led his team to a playoff berth back in the 2014-2015 season. The Pelicans are in position to make the playoffs now, but likely won’t do much damage without Cousins. Give Davis a healthy Holiday and Cousins, though, and even the Golden State Warriors would show fear when facing the twin towers.
All-in-all, Davis is no doubt a generational talent. He’s been the best at his position over the last few seasons, despite the chaos and sub-par management in New Orleans. But when it comes to winning, don’t let Bayless fool you. The NBA is about having more than just one star, again, just ask Lebron James. Everyone needs help to beat the modern day “super teams.”
Davis is and will continue to be a dominating force in the NBA. There have been multiple rumors the past couple of seasons involving Davis in trade talks. The Pelicans certainly have some decisions to make with Cousins (free agent) and Davis (would bring back a motherland of assets in a trade). But, whether it’s in a Pelicans jersey or a different uniform, there’s no question Davis has what it takes to lead a team to a title.