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NBA Superstar Booed by His Own Team's Fans - 'Awkward'

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Now that the NBA trade deadline has come and gone without Anthony Davis being moved, “The Brow” and the New Orleans Pelicans can move forward and just focus on the rest of the season.

But that doesn’t mean the Pelicans fans can’t be bitter about what has already transpired. Davis requested a trade in late January and had not appeared in a game since then due to a finger injury.

So when he finally returned to the lineup on Friday, the hometown fans gave him a mixed reaction.

Some cheered the fact that Davis is still in a Pelicans uniform, while others booed because he made it clear he no longer wants to be in a Pelicans uniform.

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Davis was mostly booed during the pregame introductions and also the first few times he touched the ball in the game.

Whenever he scored, the fans really had no choice but to cheer — he was helping the team, after all. But Pelicans beat writer Andrew Lopez said those cheers were from people who didn’t originally boo Davis.

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Despite everything that happened over the last couple of weeks, Davis admitted to being surprised by boos he received from the crowd.

“That was definitely awkward,” Davis said of the crowd’s reaction, according to ESPN. “Boo? OK. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m going to go out there and play basketball. I was (surprised). But hey, that’s life, man. Some people are not gonna like me.

“I’m just happy to be back on the floor playing the game that I love.”

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Davis looked every bit like someone worthy of all of this trade speculation as he was dominant on the court in the Pelicans’ 122-117 win over the Timberwolves.

He scored 32 points and had nine rebounds in just 25 minutes of action. It was the first time in his career that he scored more than 30 points in 25 or fewer minutes played.

The reason Davis was held to just 25 minutes was that he didn’t play in the fourth quarter despite it being a close contest throughout.

That jibes with the report that ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had earlier Friday in which he said the Pelicans’ plan going forward was to reduce Davis’ playing time.

Limiting Davis’ minutes serves two purposes for the Pelicans.

One is that he is more likely to stay healthy, which keeps all trade possibilities alive during the offseason.

The other is that the Pelicans already are playing for next season given their slim playoff hopes this year. Keeping their best player on the bench obviously gives them less of a chance to win, but that also gives them a shot at a better draft pick come June.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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