You hate to see it when great players are hampered by injuries, especially when they're having great seasons. Unfortunately for the Pelicans' Anthony Davis, he has joined this undesirable list.
The team has decided to shut down it's all star player for the final few games of the season. Between a bad left knee and ailing shoulder, and the fact that the Pelicans won't be making the playoffs, the team decided that it was best to think about the future.
And their wallets.
The rising superstar signed the richest deal in NBA history last year and responded with another All-Star season by making the NBA All-Star team for the third year in a row and averaging 24.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2 blocks. This was done with nagging injuries, including a bum shoulder, according to head coach Alvin Gentry.
“We're going to shut him down. He's done for the year,” Gentry told reporters on Sunday through the team's website. “It's unfortunate, but he's got an issue with his shoulder that he's played with the whole season. It's amazing when people talk about him being soft or whatever; they don't understand that he's played through a situation with his shoulder the entire season.”
Scott Kushner of The Advocate reports that Davis will have surgery on his shoulder and a "procedure" on his knee. This could keep him out of the Olympics this summer in Brazil and could also cost him some money due to incentives detailed in his contract.
The five-year contract extension Davis signed in the offseason becomes at least $23 million richer if he qualifies for the NBA’s “Rose Rule,” which would allow his salary to take up 30 percent of the Pelicans’ salary cap as opposed to 25 percent.
To qualify for the Rose Rule — named for Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose — a player must, while under his rookie contract, win at least one MVP award, be voted an All-Star starter at least twice or make the first-, second- or third-team all-NBA, voted by media members, twice.
Making an all-NBA team likely will be more difficult for a player who will finish the season missing 21 games, including the final 14.
Despite the loss of Anthony and the team clearly out of the playoff picture, the Pelicans continue to fight, beating the Clippers 109-105 yesterday. Good to see the team, and Davis (who showed up yesterday), not tanking.