When Anthony Davis made it known that he wanted to leave the New Orleans Pelicans for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, it caused a huge stir, mainly because he still had two years left on his contract and it was before the February trade deadline.
The Lakers also made it known they wanted the former Kentucky Wildcat, who’s considered one of the top players in the NBA. Those negotiations died, however, after the Pelicans decided to keep him. But that was until he was traded to the Lakers last month for Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.
“I’m talking more about the Anthony Davis situation,” said Kerr on “The Warriors Insider Podcast.” “Where a guy is perfectly healthy and has a couple years left on his deal and says, ‘I want to leave.’ That’s a real problem that the league has to address and that the players have to be careful with.”
“When you sign on that dotted line, you owe your effort and your play to that team, to that city, to the fans,” he added. “And then [after the contract expires] it’s completely your right to leave as a free agent. But if you sign the contract, then you should be bound to that contract.”
Kerr also said he hopes the Davis situation doesn’t lead to other players handling trades in the same way.
“If you come to an agreement with the team that, hey, it’s probably best for us to part ways, that’s one thing. But the Davis stuff was really kind of groundbreaking and hopefully not a trend, because it’s bad for the league.”
After the 2019 trade deadline passed and Anthony was still with the Pelicans, the team sat him and restricted his minutes, although he was healthy. Some speculate the team didn’t want to risk the star forward getting injured so they could maximize their trade potential during the off-season.
But according to reports, the NBA forced the Pelicans to play Davis and threatened to fine them $100,000 for every game he missed.
Plus, Anthony fell out with many Pelicans fans after making his trade wishes be known. And proof of that came in his first game after the trade deadline where he was booed.
“I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me,” Davis said about the crowd’s reaction. “I’ll always love the fans here. That was definitely awkward. I was like, ‘Boo? OK.’ It doesn’t matter. I’m going to go out there and play basketball.”
Kerr also said he’s all in favor of players going the free agent route and trying to get top dollar while they’re still in their prime. But they should do it the right way.
“What LeBron [James] did, played out his contract. What Kevin [Durant] did both when he arrived at Golden State and when he left. You sign contracts, you play them out and you move on. That’s how it should be done,” Kerr explained.
“But it’s a little disturbing that there has been some action that happens before contracts are up, where teams are sort of held hostage and the league is sort of held hostage. I’m not a big fan of that. That’s damaging for everybody,” he added.
After Kerr’s words surfaced, a lot of people disagreed with him and some said his Golden State Warriors hurt the league by having a super team and not making it fair.
“The real question is why did the warriors ruin the league for 3 years?” someone asked.
“And KD (Kevin Durant} signing with a 73-9 team is so good for the nba right??” another person wrote.
“Bad what AD did but it was all good for KD to come to the Warriors smh,” wrote another.
“Yea, because KD going to the Warriors was such a good thing for the NBA. It’s only bad if the star doesn’t go to your team I guess,” a fourth person weighed in.