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Pelicans’ Anthony Davis: “I’m Here To Stay”

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All those rumors that had New Orleans Pelicans’ superstar forward Anthony Davis available were a bit premature. In fact, it’s safe to say they are as close to baseless as you can get. Anthony Davis, the cornerstone of the Pelicans franchise is staying put and despite the team’s struggles, he wants to stay in New Orleans.

In an interview with ESPN Radio’s Meet The All-Stars that will air this Satruday, Davis discussed his desire to stay with the only team he has played for.

“Look, I’m here. If I was thinking about leaving, I’d never re-sign [last summer]. I’m here to stay,” Davis said (h/t ESPN). Davis is referring to the deal he signed last summer, a five-year, $127 million contract extension.

Davis was asked about the possibility of teaming up with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook in Los Angeles as part of the Lakers, a concept that has been a recent topic of discussion. Davis was also asked about the franchise’s progress, which was categorized as slow.

“I’m here to help this team win [and] put this franchise back on the map,” Davis said. Davis also stated that he will be very active in convincing Jrue Holiday to re-sign with the team this summer.

“I’m doing that right now,” Davis said. “I talk to Jrue all the time. He’ll make his own decisions, but of course we like him here. … We need him to continue to play well and then, at the end of the season, hopefully he decides to re-sign with us.”

The Pelicans have been linked to trades with the Philadelphia 76ers for Jahlil Okafor and the Brooklyn Nets regarding Brook Lopez among others.

“Our front office is doing everything to improve our team every day,” Davis said. “My job’s to go on the court and perform very well and [help] the team perform well where we can make that happen.”

Davis also recently spoke to The Times Picayune‘s Jeff Duncan about the possibility of leaving the team in the future.

“I don’t plan on leaving, so make sure you write that down” Davis stated. “I don’t pay attention to (the rumors), I don’t know who said it or how it came about. I’m with the Pelicans right now.”

The Pelicans are currently on the outside looking in on the Western Conference playoff picture and it will require a late surge from the team to qualify for the postseason.

“We’ve got to find a way to keep fighting” Davis said about the team’s current position.

“We have a team that is able to compete for the playoffs. We showed that a couple of times this year (in January wins against the Cavaliers and Spurs). We feel we are just as good as any other team in this league. We just need to find a way to stay a little more healthy and be a little more consistent.

I like our team we have now … We always are just kind of injured. It’s tough to win games when a lot of the top guys are out.”

New Orleans may not be too worried about a Davis departure now, but they need to start putting more talent around Davis to help elevate the team to playoff contention on an annual basis otherwise they may not be able to re-sign Davis in the future.

 

 

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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NBA

Kings, NBA Announce Start of Joint Investigation into Allegations Against Luke Walton

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The Sacramento Kings and the NBA have announced that they have started a join investigation into the allegations of sexual assault made by
Kelli Tennant, a former host on Spectrum SportsNet LA, in a civil suit filed against new head coach Luke Walton from alleged incidents back in 2014.

“The Kings and the NBA take these allegations very seriously and will collaborate to conduct a complete and thorough investigation,” the team and league said in a statement.

The Kings’ investigation will be led by Sue Ann Van Dermyden, the founding partner of Sacramento law firm Van Dermyden Maddux, and Jennifer Doughty, a senior associate attorney at the firm, while the league’s investigation will be led by Elizabeth Maringer, the league’s senior vice president and assistant general counsel, integrity and investigations.

Tennant held a news conference earlier this week to comment on the allegations to which Walton’s attorney responded by calling the allegations “baseless” and calling Tennat “an opportunist”.

Walton became the head coach of the Sacramento Kings immediately following his dismissal as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month.

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NBA

Former NBA Player Sebastian Telfair Convicted in Gun Case, Faces 15 Years in Prison

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Former NBA player and once highly touted young prospect Sebastian Telfair has been convicted of possessing a firearm and could face up to 15 years in prison, according to TMZ Sports.

Telfair, 33, was busted back in June 2017 in Brooklyn, New York after cops found several weapons in his possession during a traffic stop.

Telfair, a high school phenom, played for the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors, and Phoenix Suns, among others, throughout his 12 seasons in the NBA, but many believe that he never reached his full potential.

Telfair plead not guilty and tried to fight back the charges, but a jury found him guilty on Wednesday of felony criminal possession of a weapon.

Telfair, who could face up to 15 years in prison, is scheduled back in court in June for sentencing.

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Golden State Warriors

Sports Reporter Suing Kings’ Luke Walton for Sexual Assault Allegations

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Sacramento Kings new head coach Luke Walton is already in the news, but for all the wrong reasons, and he has hired attorney Mark Baute to defend him against the allegations of sexual battery made by sports reporter Kelly Tennant, who is suing Walton.

According to TMZ Sports, Walton and his legal team are blasting the accuser, and Baute issued the following statement;

“Luke Walton retained me to defend him against these baseless allegations,” Baute said. 

“The accuser is an opportunist, not a victim, & her claim is not credible. We intend to prove this in a courtroom.”

According to the suit, Tennant, who worked as a reporter for Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA, claims that while Walton was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, he asked her to come and meet him at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica, California, to drop off a book she had published.

Tennant says that she asked Walton to write the forward in her book due to a business relationship that the two had had for several years.

Upon arriving at Walton’s hote, he conviced her to come up to his room so that the two could “catch up” and upon arriving in his room Walton pinned her to the bed and placed his hips and legs over her body, forcing kisses on her neck, face, and chest.

Tennant claims that she screamed for him to stop and attempted to break free, but Walton held her down, groped her breasts and groin, and rubbed his erection on her leg.

Tennant claims she was “in shock and fear. She was afraid she was about to be raped,” the suit states. 

Additionally, Tennant claims that when Walton finally stopped and released her he escorted her out of the hotel room as if nothing ever happened and she claims that “He smiled, laughed again and made the disturbing statement, ‘Good to see you,'”

The disturbing behavior allegedly continued while Walton was the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers back in May 2017, and Tennant claims that Walton once greeted her by uttering “vulgar, guttural sounds at her” and said, “mmmm … you’re killing me in that dress.”

The Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Sacramento Kings all stated that they had no knowledge of the alleged incident during Walton’s tenure.

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