Born: March 11, 1993
Birthplace: Chicago, IL
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Anthony Marshon Davis Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He plays the power forward and center positions. Davis was selected first overall in the 2012 NBA draft by New Orleans, is a six-time NBA All-Star, and has been named to three All-NBA First Teams and three NBA All-Defensive Teams. He also earned a gold medal playing with Team USA at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Davis played one season of college basketball for the University of Kentucky, when he was first team All-American and the Consensus National Player of the Year. He also won the USBWA National Freshman of the Year, NABC Defensive Player of the Year and the Pete Newell Big Man Award. Davis led the NCAA in blocks and set Southeastern Conference and NCAA Division I freshman single-season blocked shots records. He led Kentucky to a National Championship and was named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA tournament.
Davis left college for the NBA after one season and was drafted by New Orleans, then known as the New Orleans Hornets, and was selected that summer to play for the Team USA in the 2012 Olympics. After his rookie season, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. The next season, he became an All-Star for the first time and led the NBA in blocked shots per game. He has since become a five-time All-Star and the youngest player to score at least 59 points in an NBA game. In 2017, he was named the recipient of the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award after setting an All-Star Game scoring record of 52 points en route.
High school career
Davis is from the South Side of Chicago and played high school basketball for Perspectives Charter School, where he had attended school since sixth grade. The team plays in a division of the Chicago Public High School League, known as the Blue Division, that is ignored by the media because of its lower level of competition. Perspectives is a charter school that operates as a math and science academy with high academic pedigree, but minimal athletic success. The school had no gymnasium and Davis' middle school basketball teams practiced at a nearby church. In junior high school, he was known as "the little guy who would shoot threes from the corner". He ended his freshman year at a height of 6 feet 0 inches (1.83 m). By the beginning of his sophomore year, he had grown another 1 inch (2.5 cm), and he finished the year at 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m).
As an unheralded guard after his sophomore season, he worked out with his cousins on guard drills that their father (Davis' uncle) had developed. Davis did not play in the spring/summer AAU circuit between 8th grade and his junior year. He began his junior year at a height of 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m) and his junior basketball season at 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m), saying he felt fortunate to have had such a rapid growth spurt without any knee pains. During his junior year, his family considered having him transfer to one of Chicago's basketball powerhouses, but Hyde Park Career Academy head coach Donnie Kirksey, who knew Davis Sr. well, advised against it saying "If you're good enough, they'll find you wherever you are." Perspectives finished the season 8–15. Although he remained unnoticed nationally and locally after three seasons of Chicago Public League play, he was soon thereafter rated as the #1 player in the class of 2011 by Scout.com and in the ESPNU 100. Rivals.com rated him the #2 player behind Austin Rivers. The attention came when he started playing on Tai Streets' Meanstreets (AAU team) traveling system in the spring of his junior year. As late as Spring 2010 he was still unknown, but began to be noticed in mid April. In late April, Syracuse offered him a scholarship. That spring NBA Top 100 Camp Director Dave Telep, invited him to the camp based on his dominant first half performance of the first game of the Fort Wayne, Indiana Spiece Fieldhouse event. That summer his talent was attention-grabbing. In August 2010, Davis played in the Nike Global Challenge in Hillsboro, Oregon. In the opening game, he had 23 points and 9 rebounds.
Davis verbally committed to Kentucky on August 13, 2010, choosing it over his other finalists, which were DePaul, Ohio State, and Syracuse. He had officially visited DePaul and Ohio State. On August 24, 2010, he became the number one rated player in the national class of 2011 at Scout.com. The pay-for-play scandal had played out very publicly in the press. Before Davis committed to Kentucky, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that his father, Anthony Davis Sr. asked Kentucky for $200,000 for a commitment from his son. The report was initially released on Wednesday August 4, 2010 by Sun-Times reporter Michael O'Brien. Citing "a reliable source", he posted the following text "rumors/sources that have Davis choosing Kentucky are also alleging that the commitment cost $200,000." before it was edited to say "rumors that Davis' commitment is for sale have surfaced since he cut his list of schools down about a month ago." and then removed later that day from the Sun-Times' high school sports website following a threat from a University of Kentucky lawyer. A Lexington, Kentucky law firm sent a letter under the signature of attorney Stephen L. Barker that expressed a "formal demand that you (O'Brien and the Sun-Times) withdraw the publication from any source from which it has been published, and issue an immediate statement that you know of no credible evidence indicating that there is any truth to the 'rumors' referred to in your article." Baker's letter also threatened potential "punitive damages for your malicious and willful actions. Anthony Davis Sr. declined to speak to the Chicago Tribune on August 4 regarding the allegation, although he denied the allegations to the Sun-Times stating "We haven't asked anyone for anything, and no one has offered us anything", on July 30 before the story broke.
The article was reposted on the Sun-Times' website and included in the print edition on Friday August 6 where O'Brien wrote "sources from three separate universities told the Sun-Times that Davis Sr. asked for money in return for his son's commitment, with the amounts ranging from $125,000 to $150,000." The University of Kentucky and the Davis family both threatened to sue the Sun-Times over the article, however, no lawsuits were filed by Kentucky or the Davis family. The Davises and Kentucky claim the restated publication was false. Illinois' one-year statute of limitations on libel cases expired before any lawsuits were filed.
Davis signed his National Letter of Intent on November 10, 2010. He began his senior season on the Chicago Sun-Times area 2010 Top 50 list. He was a pre-season first team all-state selection by the Sun-Times along with Ryan Boatright (East Aurora/Connecticut), Wayne Blackshear (Morgan Park/Louisville), Mycheal Henry (Orr/Illinois), and Jabari Parker (Simeon/Duke). According to Rodger Bohn of SLAM Magazine who saw him play more than 10 times, Davis retained his guard instincts after his growth spurt. Despite Davis' individual prowess, Perspectives began the season with a 0–6 record. He sat out one of those games with minor forearm and leg injuries. It took a near quadruple double on December 15, 2010 against Benito Juárez Community Academy, when he posted 32 points, 21 rebounds, 11 assists and 9 blocked shots for the team to earn its first victory in its seventh game. The team's subsequent game against Whitney M. Young Magnet High School played at Chicago State University was nationally televised on ESPNU. Later in the season, he missed some games due to a sprained right thumb. Despite losing approximately three-quarters of its regular season games, Perspective earned a Class 3A regional play-in game victory against Noble Street Charter High School in the Illinois High School Association state playoffs when Davis totaled 33 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 blocked shots and 4 steals. However, after losing the subsequent regional semifinal game to King College Prep High School the team finished with a 6–19 record. Despite his growth, he continued to perform much of the role of a guard by bringing the ball up the court and shooting outside shots. For the season, he averaged 32 points, 22 rebounds and 7 blocks.
In high school, Davis earned numerous honors for his basketball abilities including being named to the 2011 McDonald's All-American Game and the 10th annual Jordan Brand Classic. Although he had not been rated in the Mr. Basketball USA poll to end the 2009–10 season, he began the 2010–11 season ranked fifth, which was the highest of previously unranked players and finished the season fourth behind Rivers, Mike Gilchrist (now known as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) and Bradley Beal. He joined those three and James Michael McAdoo as first team USA Today All-USA high school basketball team selections. He was a first-team Parade All-American. He was also a first team All-American selection by SLAM Magazine (along with Gilchrist, Rivers, Beal, Quincy Miller and Marquis Teague) and Dime Magazine (along with Gilchrist, Rivers, Beal and Myles Mack). He was a first team selection to the ESPN Rise boys' high school basketball All-American team. However, in the statewide voting for the Illinois Mr. Basketball by coaches and media, he only placed fourth behind co-winners Boatright and Chasson Randle (Rock Island/Stanford) and third-place finisher Blackshear. Those four and Abdel Nader (Niles North/underclassman) formed the Chicago Tribune All-State first team. The Chicago Sun-Times selected him as a Class 3A first team All-State selection along with Blackshear. The Chicago Sun-Times selected him as an all-Public League selection along with Blackshear, Parker, Henry and D. J. Tolliver. The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association included him in the Class 3A/4A boys all-state first team.
In the March 30, 2011 McDonald's All-American Game, in front of a hometown crowd at the United Center, he made his first five field goals on his way to a 14-point, 6-rebound, 2-steal and 4-block performance. In the April 9 Nike Hoops Summit, Davis led the USA Basketball team to a 92–80 victory over the world team with a team-high 10 rebounds to go along with 16 points and 2 blocks. He was named co-MVP of the April 16 Jordan Brand Classic game (along with McAdoo) after posting 29 points (on 13-for-15 shooting), 11 rebounds and 4 blocks in a losing effort. Davis' 29 points was the second-highest point total in the first 10 years of the Jordan Brand Classic, following only LeBron James' 34-point performance.
Davis committed to the Kentucky Wildcats, coached by John Calipari. Before his college career began, he was being mentioned as the NBA draft first overall selection in the 2012 NBA draft. In late February Dick Vitale mentioned the possibility that Davis might complete the men's college basketball awards Grand Slam of National Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft." During the exhibition portion of the season for the 2011–12 Wildcats, Calipari described Davis as follows: "He's 6–10 with a 7–3 wingspan and he can shoot the 3 and dribble the ball and lead the break. . ." Less than a month into the season, ESPN's Andy Katz described him similarly: "Davis offers a multitude of skills for the Wildcats with his ability to block shots, run the floor, score in the low post and face up to the basket." Since Calipari had coached Marcus Camby, who was also a tall shot-blocker, Davis drew comparisons to Camby. ESPN selected Davis as a preseason All-American along with teammate Terrence Jones. Some sources, such as Blue Ribbon, selected Connecticut's Andre Drummond as the preseason Freshman/Newcomer of the Year ahead of Davis, although Davis was the only freshman on the ESPN 10-man preseason team. Davis only received one vote for the Associated Press preseason All-America team.
After most of the pre-conference schedule but before the 2011–12 Southeastern Conference men's basketball schedule, Davis' teammate, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was mentioned as a possible Southeastern Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year. However, after less than a month of Southeastern Conference play, Davis was not only being mentioned as conference player of the year, but also National Player of the Year. By mid February, he was considered a National Player of the Year front-runner with his primary competition coming from Thomas Robinson of Kansas. As the season progressed, he continued to battle Robinson while developing a college level offensive game. Davis averaged a double double and 6.5 blocks in the two games (November 15, 2011 and April 2, 2012) they played against each other, both on neutral courts. Davis led the Wildcats to a perfect 16–0 record in conference play en route to the SEC conference regular season championship. Davis finished the year with averages of 14.2 points per game, 10.4 rebounds per game, 4.7 blocks per game and a field goal percentage of 62.3%. The Wildcats entered the SEC Tournament as heavy favorites and defeated LSU and Florida before losing to the Vanderbilt Commodores in the championship game. Despite the loss, the Wildcats earned the number one overall seed in the 2012 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. In the Wildcats' six NCAA Tournament games, Davis averaged 15.2 points,11.2 rebounds, and 4.6 blocks per game, and led the team to its eighth NCAA championship.
On October 20, 2011, Davis was one of three Kentucky Wildcats named to the 12-man preseason watchlist for the 2012 Wayman Tisdale Award along with Kidd-Gilchrist, and Teague. On November 7, 2011, he was selected to the 50-man preseason 2012 Naismith College Player of the Year Award watchlist by the Atlanta Tipoff Club along with three Kentucky teammates (Jones, Kidd-Gilchrist, and Teague). Davis was included on the 25-man John R. Wooden Award Midseason list on January 17. On February 6, Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist were both included on the 20-player 2012 Oscar Robertson Trophy midseason watch list. Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist were both among the five March 1 finalists for the 2012 Wayman Tisdale Award, which the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) will award to the nation's top freshman player via a March 30 announcement and April 16 presentation. On March 1, Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist were both named to the 30-player midseason Naismith watchlist. On March 6, Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist moved on to the final 15 nominees for the Wooden Award. As a USBWA first team All-American selection on March 12, he became one of five finalists for the Robertson Trophy. On March 19, he became one of four finalists for the Naismith Award. Davis was named as one of 10 finalists for the Wooden Award, a designation termed as Wooden All-American.
Honors and awards
Davis was named the 2012 Sporting News Men's College Basketball Player of the Year. On March 19, he won the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's (USBWA) Robertson trophy. The Commonwealth Athletic Club of Kentucky named Davis the Adolph Rupp Trophy winner on March 22. CBSSports.com recognized Davis as their national player of the year. On March 30, he became the second freshman (Kevin Durant) to win the Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year. On March 31, he won the John R. Wooden Award. The following day he won the Naismith College Player of the Year. He was Kentucky's first Naismith winner and the first from the SEC in 42 years (Pete Maravich).
Davis was named to the 2012 Sporting News All-American first team. He was also named first team All-American by the United States Basketball Writers Association. On March 20, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) chose him as a first team All-American. Davis was a CBSSports.com first team All-American. Davis was named a first team Associated Press All-American, making him a unanimous first team All-American selection.
During the 2012 NCAA Tournament, Davis was selected to the NCAA South Regional All-Tournament Team. Then, in the 2012 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament final four, he posted 18 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks against Louisville. In the championship game, he had 16 rebounds, 6 blocks, 5 assists, 3 steals and 6 points against Kansas. He won the NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player and was selected to that All-Tournament team. He was the fourth freshman to win the Most Outstanding Player award.
Davis was named the USBWA National Freshman of the Year. He was selected by the USBWA as the Player of the Year for its 10-man 2011–12 Men's All-District IV (Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida) Team. Davis was a first team selection to the NABC Division I All‐District 21 team on March 14. On April 1, he was also awarded the Pete Newell Big Man Award and the NABC Defensive Player of the Year. CollegeInsider.com recognized him with the Lefty Driesell Award as Defensive Player of the Year and the Kyle Macy Award as Freshman of the Year.
Davis twice earned SEC Player of the Week (POTW) honors (Week of February 6 and 27, 2012) and four times, when he was not Player of the Week, he earned SEC Freshman of the Week (FOTW) honors (November 14, 2011, February 1, 2012, January 16, 2012, and May 3, 2012). He earned his first FOTW honor for debuting with a double double, including 23 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks and 3 assists against Marist on November 11, 2011. Only Jones and Sam Bowie had previously had 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds in their Kentucky Freshman debut. His second FOTW came in a week in which he averaged 14.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, six blocks, 1.5 steals and 1 assist in wins over Lamar and fourth-rated Louisville. His third FOTW award came when he averaged 16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2.5 steals and 2 assists in wins at Auburn and at Tennessee where both his point totals were game highs. He earned his fourth FOTW when he averaged 15.5 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks in wins over Georgia and at Florida. He earned his first POTW recognition for averaging 20 points, eight rebounds, 7.5 blocks and 2 assists in wins over Tennessee and at South Carolina. For Davis' second POTW he posted a pair of double doubles to average 20.5 points, 11 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and two steals in wins at Mississippi State and over Vanderbilt. The February 25 win against Vanderbilt clinched the 2011–12 SEC championship for Kentucky as Davis tallied a career-high 28 points as well as 11 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. ESPN's Andy Katz described his SEC title-clinching performance as the most complete performance of his career.
He was also selected as the SEC Player of the Year, SEC Freshman of the Year, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a first team All-SEC honoree. The SEC awards were selected by the league's 12 coaches who were not permitted to vote for their own players. Thus, no awards were unanimous. Sporting News also selected him as Freshman and Player of the Year for the SEC. Also, the Associated Press selected him as Player and Newcomer of the Year for the SEC as well as an All-SEC performer. Following the 2012 SEC tournament, he was selected to the SEC All-Tournament Team.
During the 2011–12 NCAA Division I men's basketball season, Davis blocked more shots per game than most Division I men's teams. In the January 17 contest against Arkansas, Davis set the Kentucky men's basketball record for single-season blocked shots surpassing Melvin Turpin and Andre Riddick, who each had 83. In the game, he established a career high with 27 points and added 14 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. On February 4, against South Carolina, Davis established the SEC freshman record with 116 blocks surpassing Shaquille O'Neal's total set for LSU. One of the most notable blocks of the season was a block of John Henson with four seconds left to preserve a 73–72 victory when number one Kentucky hosted number five North Carolina on December 3. On March 15, Davis established a Kentucky single-game record for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament by blocking 7 against Western Kentucky. On March 25, Davis established the SEC single-season blocked shots record in the NCAA Tournament South Regional Championship game victory over Baylor, surpassing Jarvis Varnado's total of 169. On March 31, he tied DeMarcus Cousins with 20 double doubles for the Kentucky freshman-season record. He also surpassed Cousins' Kentucky freshman rebounds record of 374 with 415 rebounds. With six blocks in the championship game, he achieved a total of 186 for the season, surpassing Hassan Whiteside's 2010 total of 182, to set an NCAA Division I freshman record. This also tied the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship Game record for blocks established by Joakim Noah in the 2006 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. Starting in the championship game gave him a total of 40 starts for the season, which tied Kentucky's single-season record along with teammate Marquis Teague.
New Orleans Hornets / Pelicans (2012–present)
Davis declared for the 2012 NBA draft alongside the rest of the national championship team starting five: fellow freshmen Kidd-Gilchrist and Teague, and sophomores Jones and Doron Lamb. At the 2012 NBA Draft Combine, Davis measured at 6 feet 9.25 inches (2.06 m), 221.8 pounds (100.6 kg) and had the second longest wingspan—7 feet 5.5 inches (2.27 m)—of any player participating. On June 28, the New Orleans Hornets selected Davis with the first overall pick. Davis became the fifth Chicago-area first overall selection following Cazzie Russell (1966), LaRue Martin (1972), Mark Aguirre (1981) and Derrick Rose (2008). On July 24, 2012, Davis signed a three-year $16 million guaranteed contract with the Hornets as prescribed by the NBA's collective bargaining agreement.
Rookie year (2012–13)
On November 1, 2012, Davis made his debut against the San Antonio Spurs. He scored a team high 21 in a losing effort. On November 2, Davis suffered a concussion that sidelined him for 2 and a half games until November 9. In his November 9 return, he posted his first double double with 23 points and 11 rebounds as well as 5 blocks, 2 steals and 2 assists in a victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. On November 17, he totaled 28 points and 11 rebounds against the Milwaukee Bucks. On November 20, Davis was announced to be out of the lineup for "a stress reaction" on his ankle. He was cleared to play on December 11, 2012 after missing 11 games. On December 18, he posted a career high 4 steals to go along with 15 points and a then career-high 16 rebounds against the Golden State Warriors in his first start since being disabled on November 20.
Davis appeared in the February 15, 2013 Rising Stars Challenge during the 2013 NBA All-Star Game weekend. Davis was removed from the Hornets' lineup on February 27 following a collision with Brook Lopez the prior night in which he sprained his left shoulder. On March 5, Davis returned to the starting lineup with 17 points, 15 rebounds and 4 blocked shots against the Orlando Magic. On March 9, Davis established a career high in rebounds with 18 to go along with 20 points against the Memphis Grizzlies. On March 20, Davis tipped in the game-winning basket over Kevin Garnett against the Boston Celtics with 0.3 seconds remaining. On April 10, Davis suffered a season-ending left knee medial collateral ligament sprain and bone bruise. He was injured in a collision with Marcus Thornton of the Sacramento Kings. He was a 2013 NBA All-Rookie First Team selection, and finished second in NBA Rookie of the Year voting (with 306 points) to Damian Lillard (605). His 20 double-doubles was the most in his rookie class.
As a rookie, he proved to be mostly a pick and roll threat on offense, but was effective in fast break transition and on the offensive boards. He needed to develop his isolation and post-up skills. His rookie skill set was said to resemble a young Lamar Odom, but he added over 10 pounds (4.5 kg) following his rookie season.
After the 2012–13 season, the Hornets renamed themselves the Pelicans. Davis donated $65,000 toward the construction of a basketball court at his alma mater, Perspectives. On October 16, 2013, during the preseason of Davis' sophomore year for the 2013–14 New Orleans Pelicans', the Pelicans exercised the team's 3rd-year option on Davis' contract.
First All-Star selection (2013–14)
Davis began the 2013–14 NBA season with the newly-renamed Pelicans with a pair of double-doubles, posting 20 points and 12 rebounds against Indiana on October 30 and 26 points and 17 rebounds against Orlando on November 1. In the Orlando game, Davis became the youngest player in franchise history to record 25 points and 15 rebounds in a game. In the third game of the season against Charlotte on November 2, Davis established career-highs with 6 blocks and 6 steals, while helping New Orleans to its first victory. He also became the first player with 6 blocks, 6 steals and 25 points in a game in the last 20 years and only the fifth with at least 5 blocks, 5 steals and 25 points in that period. For the week, Davis earned an NBA Player of the Week nomination, but lost out to Kevin Love. On November 8, against the Los Angeles Lakers, Davis scored a career-high 32 points and tied a career high with 6 blocks, along with 12 rebounds, becoming the youngest player ever to have at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks in an NBA game. On November 16, he established a new career high with 8 blocks against Philadelphia. He again had 8 blocks on November 20 against the Utah Jazz. With two 8-block games in the Pelicans' first 11 games of the 2013–14 NBA season, Davis matched the number of 8-block games that Roy Hibbert had at that time in the 2012–13 and 2013–14 NBA seasons combined. No other players had two 8-block games as recently.
According to ESPN, while drawing a charging foul from Amar'e Stoudemire, Davis suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left hand in the first quarter against the New York Knicks on December 1. Yahoo! Sports claims the injury came on an attempted alley oop. On December 3, the Pelicans announced a 4-6 week layoff was expected. The injury came the night before he was supposed to play in his hometown of Chicago, marking the second year in a row that he was sidelined for his chance to play in his hometown.
Davis returned to the lineup on December 18 against the Los Angeles Clippers with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals. He returned to the starting lineup in the next game with 21 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal against Portland on December 21. He missed 7 games due to the injury. In his seventh consecutive 20-point game (all losses), Davis posted 31 points and 17 rebounds against Golden State. In the subsequent game on January 20, he helped the Pelicans snap an 8-game losing streak with 27 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks against Memphis. On January 26, Davis established a new career high with 19 rebounds, in addition to posting 22 points and 7 blocks, in a 100–92 victory over the Orlando Magic. On January 27, Davis was a finalist for Western Conference Player of the Week but lost out to Kevin Durant. The January 28 contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers featuring the last three first overall NBA draft picks (Anthony Bennett, Davis, and Kyrie Irving), Davis posted 30 points, 8 blocks, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. However, he dislocated his left index finger causing him to miss the next game the following night. On January 29, he was named a Rising Stars Challenge participant as part of the 2014 NBA All-Star Game weekend. On February 7, he was selected to replace Kobe Bryant in the 2014 NBA All-Star Game. On February 26, Davis sprained his left shoulder late in the first half against the Dallas Mavericks. He did not play in the rest of the game, and his subsequent availability was listed as day-to-day. Despite his shoulder sprain, Davis matched his career high with 32 points on February 28 against the Phoenix Suns. He was one of six Western Conference Player of the Week nominees on March 10. On March 14, Davis established a career high with 36 points against Portland. On March 16, 2014, (the very next game) Davis scored a career-high 40 points along with a career-high 21 rebounds in a 121–120 overtime win against the Boston Celtics. The performance was the first 40-point, 20-rebound effort of the 2013–14 NBA season. Davis was the fourth-youngest player (21 years and 5 days) to achieve 40/20 in a game and the youngest since Shaquille O'Neal in 1993. In addition to his career game, Davis set a New Orleans' franchise record with six straight games of at least 28 points. Glen Rice set the previous best stretch with five straight in the 1990s. It was also the first 40-point performance by a Pelican/Hornet since David West on February 26, 2010. Davis was again a finalist for NBA Player of the Week on March 17 and 24.
In late March, Davis began suffering a series of injuries. On March 28, Davis injured his left ankle, after four minutes of play against the Jazz. He missed the rest of the game and the next one. Davis returned to the lineup on March 31 against Sacramento. However, on April 2, Davis endured back spasms that caused him to miss the second half against the Nuggets. Davis saw limited minutes on April 4 and missed a game on April 9 due to his back. On April 10, the team announced that Davis would miss the remaining four games. Davis finished the season as the NBA leader in blocked shots per game (2.82). Because of his improved performance this season against his rookie season, Davis finished third in the NBA Most Improved Player Award voting behind Lance Stephenson and Goran Dragić.
First playoff appearance (2014–15)
Davis began the 2014–15 NBA season against the Orlando Magic with one of the best season opening performances of all time: 26 points, 17 rebounds, 9 blocks, 3 steals and 2 assists. It was the first 9-block season opener since Nate Thurmond had 12 to open the 1974–75 NBA season. The performance also marked the first 26-point/17-rebound/9-block/3-steal effort since Hakeem Olajuwon during the 1989–90 NBA season. On November 8, against the San Antonio Spurs, he posted 27 points, 11 rebounds and 6 blocks, including the game-winning basket with 6.6 seconds remaining. It marked the 5th time Davis had 25 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks since the beginning of the prior season. No other player has had multiple such games in that time. On November 22, Davis scored a career-high 43 points along with 14 rebounds against the Utah Jazz. He was a finalist for October/November Western Conference Player of the Month. On December 2, Davis fell one assist and one block short of becoming the youngest NBA player to ever record a five-by-five with a 25-point, 10-rebound, 4-assist, 6 -steal, 4-block performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Davis entered the December 12, 2014 contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers with a player efficiency rating (PER) of 32.9, which would be the highest in NBA history if maintained for the full season. Davis was injured in the game and left in the first quarter. Davis was sidelined in the subsequent contest. He was a finalist for December Western Conference Player of the Month. On February 6, despite having missed his last 11 three point shots and having a career 2-for-23 three point career record, Davis made a game winning three point buzzer beater against Oklahoma City Thunder as part of a 41-point, 10-rebound double-double. The 41-point performance marked a New Orleans record 13th consecutive 20-point performance, surpassing Pete Maravich of the 1976–77 New Orleans Jazz.
On February 7, 2015, Davis injured his shoulder after falling off the rim when he received an alley-oop. As a result of the injury, he withdrew from the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, and was replaced on the roster by Dirk Nowitzki and in the starting lineup by LaMarcus Aldridge. Davis missed five games in late February and early March to the shoulder sprain. He returned against the Detroit Pistons with a very dominant game performance of 39 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 blocks, numbers that only Hakeem Olajuwon and Dwight Howard had achieved in a game in the prior 30 years. Davis also reached 437 career blocks, a franchise record. On March 9, Davis tied his career high with 43 points and added 10 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal in a 114-103 win against the Milwaukee Bucks. On March 15 in a double overtime game against the Denver Nuggets, Davis became the first player in NBA history to tally 36 points, 14 rebounds, 9 blocks and 7 assists in a game since blocks became a statistic in 1973. Only David Robinson has had at least 30 points, 11 rebounds, 8 blocks and 7 assists in a game. On March 16, Davis earned Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, March 9, through Sunday, March 15 and was a finalist for Western Conference Player of the Month of March. In the final game of the regular season, a must-win game that would send the Pelicans to the 2015 NBA Playoffs, Davis recorded 31 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks in a 108-103 victory over the defending-champion San Antonio Spurs. The playoff berth was Davis' first and the franchise's first since 2011. Davis' season was one of the most impressive in NBA history, finishing the season averaging 24.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, and leading the league in player efficiency rating with 30.89. He was a finalist for Western Conference Player of the Month again in April.
In his first career playoff series, Davis averaged 31.5 points and 11.0 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game. Although swept by the overall number one seeded Golden State Warriors, who went on to win the NBA championship, Davis joined Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Karl Malone as the only players in the past 20 seasons to average 30 points and 10 rebounds in the playoffs. Davis also became the first player in 40 years to average 30 points and 10 rebounds in a player's first playoff series, with the only other players to do so being Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bob McAdoo. At the end of the season, Davis finished 4th in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award voting, 5th in the NBA Most Valuable Player Award voting, sixth in the NBA Most Improved Player Award voting. He was selected to the All-NBA First Team for the first time in his career, becoming the first player to make the first team in his first three seasons since Derrick Rose did so in the 2010–11 NBA season. He was also an NBA All-Defensive Team second team selection.
Season-ending injury (2015–16)
On July 9, 2015, Davis signed a five-year, $145 million contract extension with the Pelicans. On November 6, he tied his career-high of 43 points in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks. On December 1, he tied a career-high 9 blocked shots in an offensive off night against the Memphis Grizzlies. On December 20, in a win over the Denver Nuggets, Davis scored a single-quarter career-high 19 first quarter points to finish the game with 27. On January 15, Davis converted an alley oop dunk from Jrue Holiday with 2 seconds remaining to give New Orleans a 109–107 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. On January 28, Davis was named as a reserve for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game. He again came close to a five-by-five with a 28-point, 10-rebound, 4-assist, 4-block, 4-steal effort on February 3 against the San Antonio Spurs. The following day, he was named to the NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge lineup. On February 21, in a win over the Detroit Pistons, Davis scored a franchise-record 59 points and pulled down 20 rebounds. The previous franchise record was 50 points by Jamal Mashburn exactly 13 years earlier against the Memphis Grizzlies. Davis joined Shaquille O'Neal and Chris Webber as the only NBA players with 50 points and 20 rebounds in a game since 1983. Davis also became just the 20th player in NBA history to score at least 59 points in a game, and became the youngest player in NBA history to score 59 points in a game, and the second youngest (behind Bob McAdoo) to record 50 points and 20 rebounds in a game. The 59 points was an NBA-wide season high at the time. The total was not surpassed until the final night of the season when Kobe Bryant posted 60 in his final career game. Davis posted a third 40-point game (40 points and 13 rebounds) on March 9 against the Charlotte Hornets. On March 20, he was ruled out for the rest of the season with a left knee injury and a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Upon being deactivated, Davis claimed that he had been playing through left shoulder pain since his rookie season.
All-Star record-breaker (2016–17)
On October 26, Davis began the season with a 50-point, 16-rebound, 7-steal (career high), 5-assist, 4-block performance against the Denver Nuggets. He was one block short of his first five-by-five. It was the first 50-point, 15-rebound, 5-assist, 5-steal performance in NBA history since steals became an officially recorded statistic in the 1973–74 season. His 50-point night was the second highest scoring output of his career and was the most by any NBA player in a season opener since Michael Jordan scored 54 points in 1989. Two days later, he had 45 points and 17 rebounds against the Golden State Warriors, becoming the first back-to-back game 40-point scorer in Pelicans history (since the New Orleans Hornets creation in 2002). On November 10, he scored 32 points against the Milwaukee Bucks, helping the Pelicans record their first win of the season after starting 0–8. On November 19, Davis posted 38 points and 16 rebounds, including 11 of the Pelicans' final 16 in an overtime win against the Charlotte Hornets. He posted the game-tying score with 18 seconds remaining in regulation. On November 23, he had a 45-point effort in a 117–96 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves; it was the Pelicans' fourth straight win. On December 23, he had 28 points, a career-high 22 rebounds and four blocked shots in a 91–87 win over the Miami Heat. On January 19, Davis was selected as a starter for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, marking his fourth selection and second as a starter. On January 27, he had 16 points and tied a career high with 22 rebounds in a 119–103 win over the San Antonio Spurs. On February 2, he was selected as a participant in the NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge. On February 10, he had 42 points and 13 rebounds in a 122–106 win over the Timberwolves. Davis scored 40 for the sixth time this season, and it was his highest scoring game since he put up 45 against Minnesota on November 23. On February 19, 2017, playing on his team's home floor for the NBA All-Star Game, Davis notched 52 points and 10 rebounds, breaking Wilt Chamberlain's previous All-Star record high of 42 points, and also won the game's Most Valuable Player award. On March 11, 2017, Davis scored 46 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in a 125–122 overtime win over the Charlotte Hornets. On March 31, 2017, Davis had 19 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in a 117–89 win over the Sacramento Kings. During the game, Davis became the first player in Pelicans history to reach 2,000 points in a season. Following the season, he edged out Rudy Gobert as the center on the All-NBA first team. He was also named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team for the second time.
Second playoff appearance (2017–18)
On November 22, 2017, Davis had 29 points and 11 rebounds in a 107–90 win over the San Antonio Spurs. He finished the game with 7,938 career points, moving him into second in franchise history ahead of Chris Paul (7,936). He was subsequently named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from November 20–26. Davis led the Pelicans to a 3–1 week behind averages of 29.5 points on .586 shooting from the floor, 12.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 blocks. Davis missed three games in early December with an adductor strain. On December 27, 2017, he had 33 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks in a 128–113 win over the Brooklyn Nets. On January 14, 2018, Davis scored a season-high 48 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, leading New Orleans back from 19 points down late in the third quarter to a 123–118 overtime victory over the New York Knicks. He followed that up with a 45-point/16-rebound overtime effort on January 16 to lead the Pelicans past the Boston Celtics 116–113. On January 18, he was named an 2018 NBA All-Star Game starter. On January 28, he had 25 points and 17 rebounds in a 112–103 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Davis' rebound total gave him a franchise all-time high of 3,857, eclipsing David West's mark of 3,853. On February 2, he passed West as the franchise's all-time leading scorer by posting 43 points in a win against the Los Angeles Clippers giving him a total of 8,702. On February 23, he had 45 points, 17 rebounds, five blocked shots and five steals in a 124–123 overtime win over the Miami Heat. He hit a 3-pointer during the game, giving him a career-best 41 3-pointers in a single season. Three days later, he recorded a season-high 53 points, 18 rebounds and five blocked shots in a 125–116 win over the Phoenix Suns. On March 6, he scored 41 points despite a rib contusion in helping the Pelicans defeat the Clippers 121–116. He also tied his career high with four 3-pointers and had 13 rebounds. Five days later, on his 25th birthday, Davis recorded his first career triple-double with 25 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 10 blocks in a 116–99 loss to the Utah Jazz. His 10 blocks in a game set a franchise record and he tied his own franchise mark with six blocks in one half. In the Pelicans' regular season finale on April 11, Davis had 22 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks and three steals in a 122–98 win over the Spurs.
In Game 1 of the Pelicans' first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers, Davis had 35 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks and two steals in a 97–95 win. It was the Pelicans' first postseason win since 2011 and the first of Davis' six-year career. In Game 4, Davis scored 33 of his franchise playoff-record 47 points in the second half, as the Pelicans completed a first-round sweep of the Trail Blazers with a 131–123 victory. In Game 3 of the Pelicans' second round series against the Golden State Warriors, Davis recorded 33 points, 18 rebounds and four steals, as the Pelicans defeated the Warriors 119–100 to trim Golden State's series lead to 2–1. The Pelicans went on to lose the series in five games, with Davis recording 34 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks in a 113–104 loss in Game 5. Following the season, he earned his first NBA All-Defensive First Team and his third All-NBA First Team selections.
Davis' trade request (2018–19)
In the Pelicans' season opener on October 17, Davis had 32 points, 16 rebounds and a career-high eight assists to go with three blocks and three steals in a 131–112 win over the Houston Rockets. On November 7, he had 32 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks in a 107–98 win over the Chicago Bulls. On November 12, he had 25 points and a season-high 20 rebounds in a 126–110 win over the Toronto Raptors. It was the fifth 20-point, 20-rebound game of Davis' career. On November 16, he scored a season-high 43 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in a 129–124 win over the New York Knicks. 3 A day later, he recorded 40 points, eight rebounds and a career high-tying eight assists in a 125–115 win over the Denver Nuggets. On November 21, Davis missed the third of three free throws with 2.5 seconds left, as the Pelicans lost 121–120 to the Philadelphia 76ers. He finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds and reached 10,000 career points with a dunk late in the first half. He became the eighth youngest player to reach the milestone at the 25 years and 255 days. On December 5, he scored 27 points to go with a career-high nine assists, five blocks and four rebounds (nine below his average) in a 132–106 win over the Dallas Mavericks. On December 12, he had 44 points and 18 rebounds in a 118–114 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. On December 28, he hit a go-ahead, fall-away jumper with 43.9 seconds left and scored a season-high 48 points to lift the Pelicans to a 114–112 win over the Mavericks. On January 2, 2019, Davis posted a career-high and franchise-record 26 rebounds along with 34 points against the Brooklyn Nets. On January 14, he had 46 points and 16 rebounds in a 121–117 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. On January 19, he was ruled out for one to two weeks with a left index finger sprain, an injury sustained the previous night against the Portland Trail Blazers.
On January 28, Davis informed the Pelicans that he would not sign a contract extension in the coming off-season, and requested a trade. He is eligible to become a free agent in the summer of 2020. A day later, the NBA fined him $50,000 for making his request public. Davis recovered from his injury and was available to play, but the Pelicans said they would hold him out until after the league trade deadline on February 7. After the deadline passed without a trade, the team announced that Davis would play the rest of the season; they faced potential fines by the league if they held him out. On February 8, he played for first time since his trade request. He had 32 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 25 minutes before being benched for the entire fourth quarter in a 122–117 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
National team career
On May 2, 2012, following a rash of injuries to players who had been on the 20-man Team USA basketball roster in January (notably center Dwight Howard), Davis was named as one of the finalists for the 2012 Olympic basketball team. Davis, along with Greg Monroe, was under consideration to fill the vacancy at center resulting from Howard's injury. Davis would be the first American player since Emeka Okafor (2004) to have competed in the Olympics without any prior NBA experience. By the beginning of July, he was one of six players (along with Blake Griffin, James Harden, Rudy Gay, Andre Iguodala and Eric Gordon) competing for the final three roster spots, according to USA Basketball director Jerry Colangelo. Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love, Griffin and Davis were the only true post players among the final 15. It was reported that Davis "suffered a severely sprained ankle in a workout" on June 30 and "almost assuredly [would] bypass a chance to play for Team USA [that] summer in the London Olympics." On July 12, 2012, however, he was selected for the 2012 USA men's basketball roster after Blake Griffin suffered an injury to the same knee he injured in the 2012 NBA Playoffs. That team went undefeated in the 2012 Olympic tournament in London and won the gold medal match over Spain.
Davis was also a member of the 2014 national team that won the gold medal in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup over Serbia on September 14.
Davis is the son of Anthony Davis Sr. Davis Sr. is 6 foot 3 inches (1.91 m), and his mother, Erainer, is 6 foot 1 inch (1.85 m). He has a twin sister, Antoinette and an older sister, Iesha who played basketball at Daley College.
He has cousins named Jarvis, Marshaun and Keith Chamberlain. Keith has played professional basketball in Germany and Latvia and their father, Keith Sr., served as Davis' elementary school athletic director.
On June 15, 2012, he signed with Arn Tellem and the Wasserman Media Group as his agents. Davis trademarked his unibrow sayings "Fear The Brow" and "Raise The Brow" in June 2012.