It doesn’t matter. We loss so I don’t really care about no career high or nothing like that. —New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis
NEW ORLEANS — Nearly an hour had passed since the final buzzer sounded at the Smoothie King Center.
Anthony Davis was visibly upset.
The New Orleans Pelicans superstar took his time to get dressed, lacing up his black OG Air Jordan 5 sneakers slowly, before finally addressing the scrum of reporters waiting patiently near his locker room stall.
Losing to the Utah Jazz 116-99 certainly wasn’t an ideal way to celebrate his 25th birthday, but he still suited up to post his first career triple-double with 25 points, 11 rebounds and franchise-best 10 blocks.
“It doesn’t matter,” Davis said. “We lost so I don’t really care about no career high or nothing like that.”
Before the tipoff, the MVP contender was listed as questionable with a left ankle sprain before the team announced that he would play. He’s currently No. 2 in points per game (28.0), No. 1 in blocks (2.4) with the league’s second best player efficiency rating (28.90).
Davis owned the Jazz on both ends of the floor in the first half, tying a previous season-high of six blocks, to go along with 14 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists through two quarters.
Pelicans fans were even chanting “M-V-P “ as Davis shot free throws at 3:10 in the second quarter.
His shot-blocking presence also forced guys like Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell to second-guess their shot attempts, especially after his late swat on Royce O’Neale’s driving dunk in transition.
“He has the same presence that Rudy (Gobert) has, when you think about it, ‘Should I shoot?’” Mitchell described. “The first floater I had, that is normally a jump shot against anybody else, except for Rudy. So I think just his (Anthony Davis) presence is one thing, it starts to, it sometimes gets in your head, sometimes you allow it to.”
Outside of that O’Neale block, though, Davis struggled mightily in the fourth quarter going up against Gobert, with no points on 0-for-2 shooting in those last 12 minutes.
“I always love to play against one of the top guys in my position,” said Gobert. “He’s having a great year and anytime I come here we try to get this win.”
Even in defeat, “The Brow” still found time to reflect on the day. The Chicago native says he’s blessed to play the game he loves while fulfilling a childhood dream on his birthday.
“For sure. Not just on your birthday, but anytime you’re able to wake up it’s a blessed day,” Davis said. “I’m always blessed to see another year for sure.”