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This weekend, NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans announced that Anthony Davis is not going to be playing any more games this season due to injury. According to them, their star will undergo multiple surgeries, one to fix his left shoulder and another to fix his left knee. They figured out that the season is already over and that there is no reason for Davis to play anymore. In a way they were right and in a way they were wrong.
But, first things first, i.e. we have to talk about Davis’ truncated season and we need to talk about it now. For most people, it has been a disappointment and a big one at that. The worst thing is that Davis brought this upon himself last year when he posted some of the most insane numbers ever by a player of that age (he was 21 last year). More than that, he posted a PER (player efficiency rating) of 30.8 last year, which was the 12th highest ever.
This year, Davis had a PER of 25.2 which is still seventh best in the league this season, but let’s be honest, it is still lower than what everyone expected. If you don’t remember, during the offseason, Davis came in second in most experts’ predictions for the MVP award (behind only LeBron) and most general managers agreed they would pick him to build a franchise around. He did average 24.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.0 blocks per game this season, but somehow it feels lacking.
Quite simply put, we all expected him to dominate the league. We all expected his Pelicans to at least get into the playoffs. We expected the universe to implode every night because of his play. We ended up with a banged-up team that isn’t even in the wide playoff picture and that has been a huge disappointment.
And now his season is over. We understand that the Pelicans want to hurry his procedures (which may end up never happening, if we’re being cynical) so that he is readier at the start of the next season, but on the other hand, there are season ticket holders who would prefer to see Davis playing. It is just one more example of how the league is getting sanitized and precious (in a bad way). Maybe this is great for Davis, but the league suffers. You do not shut down a player just because your season is not going great. It is not good for the game.