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NBA Investigating Anthony Davis Trade Request For Signs Of Self-Tampering

Photo: Harry How (Getty)

Anthony Davis has requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, a half-assed basketball operation that squandered all but a few hours of his NBA career to date. Adrian Wojnarowski reported it; he had the scoop because Rich Paul, Davis’s agent, told him. Just a few hours later, the Pelicans publicly acknowledged the trade request and expressed their disappointment at this development:

This past weekend, Anthony Davis’ representatives informed us that Anthony does not wish to sign a contract extension with our team and subsequently has requested a trade. Although we are disappointed in this decision, our organization’s top priority is to bring an NBA championship to our city and fans and build our team for long-term success.

Relative to specific talks of a trade, we will do this on our terms and our timeline. One that makes the most sense for our team and it will not be dictated by those outside of our organization. We have also requested the League to strictly enforce the tampering rules associated with this transaction.

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Most of this is boilerplate junk, a lot of top priority this and our city and fans that. The second paragraph is embarrassingly chest-thumpy and defiant, for an organization that is in the process of being abandoned in a Walmart parking lot with a “free to whoever tows her out of here” sign crammed in the windshield. But the part that especially stands out is the “strictly enforce the tampering rules associated with this transaction” line. Possibly no transaction in recent NBA history has ever been more bogged down with preemptive fretting over tampering than Davis’s looming and overdue exit from the Pelicans.

Okay, so, now other teams and players are adequately warned of New Orleans’s vigilance on the issue of outsiders saying obvious things aloud. So what is there to make of an update from Marc Stein that says the NBA has “commenced an investigation this morning” after learning of Davis’s trade request? What could the NBA possibly be investigating?

Truly it is a blight on the league and a tremendous disruption of Pelicans business for a player’s agent to say on-the-record what always is and invariably would be leaked by both sides within a few short hours. The NBA must put an immediate stop to this terrible self-tampering.

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