Anthony Davis has (probably) been surrounded with less talent than any other NBA superstar

Anthony Davis has (probably) been surrounded with less talent than any other NBA superstar


Anthony Davis has (probably) been surrounded with less talent than any other NBA superstar

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New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis is on his way out of the organization, now hoping to win a championship with a different team.

Perhaps the biggest reason why the 25-year-old big man wanted to leave New Orleans is the lack of success the Pelicans had during his seven-season tenure with the team. How much of that has to do with the company he’s had on the court with the Pels?

We came up with a metric to measure the surrounding star power players have had on their teams. We only included those with at least five All-Star appearances.

We awarded one point for each All-Star teammate, two for All-NBA selections and three for MVP teammates. Among the total 136 qualifying NBA players, Davis ranks last overall – tied with Washington’s John Wall.

This metric only awarded points when Teammate X was an All-Star/All-NBA/MVP while playing alongside Player Y. (For example, LeBron James didn’t get any extra point for teammate Tyson Chandler since the veteran center was an All-Star in 2013 and not this season as a Laker).

It’s worth mentioning modern-era players are ranked way lower than past players because it’s significantly tougher to put star-studded teams since there are way more franchises than in the past. Note that third All-NBA teams were added in 1988, so to make it consistent with the rest of NBA history, we’re not counting it.

This list comes with another obvious caveat. Davis has only played seven seasons in the NBA whereas George Gervin played 11 and Dirk Nowitzki is enjoying his 20th professional season. These players rank just above him on the list.

Factoring this in, we can account for service time when dividing their total score by years of experience. With these adjusted rankings, however, Davis’ teammates still rank with the second-lowest overall score. Considering that Wall has played two more seasons than the big man, the point guard has him beat from their tie in the first version of the rankings.

When looking at this list even closer, however, it is worth noting that Wall’s backcourt partner Bradley Beal was significantly impactful for the Wizards.

Davis, however, had a dominant frontcourt with DeMarcus Cousins. But the former Sacramento Kings star played only 17 games during his debut regular season with New Orleans because he was traded right before the All-Star game. Cousins then only played a half season again the following year after tearing his Achilles in January 2018. Davis has never played an entire season with an All-Star teammate.

While there have been questions about the lack of success for Davis in the postseason, perhaps a bit of an adjustment is needed for this argument. Last year, the six-time All-Star led the Pelicans to a first-round sweep against the Portland Trail Blazers in the playoffs even without Cousins in the mix.

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