After his introductory press conference, we sat down with the Lakers' biggest summer acquisition when he participated in his new franchise, leaving New Orleans, his participation in the recruitment of Kawhi Leonard and why he still does not think beyond 2019- 20 in Los Angeles.
ESPN: How does it feel to hear "Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Laker?"
Anthony Davis: Is different. Something that moves me, you know. But it sounds weird, sure.
ESPN: I mean, this is not just any team. It's a team where there are 10 NBA trophies sitting on the ledge behind you. Have you ever been in a room with an NBA trophy?
AD: Not until now [laughs]. Not until now. That is the motivation right there. Every time I enter here, I see these trophies, I see the banners and I see the stars, I get excited and I'm ready to start.
ESPN: However, getting here was not free for you. What you asked for a mid-season exchange was very unpopular, and then that request and the unsuccessful nature of the negotiations after that is what many people think derailed the seasons of two teams. Why do it? Why do it then, instead of waiting until summer?
AD: I knew I was not going to sign an extension and that my time in New Orleans was definitely coming to an end. And, you know, I see a lot of people who say, "Wait …" or "You should have done it like that, like that." But for me, I've been in the league long enough. I am an adult man. I know what I want. And then I thought that doing it at that time would definitely be beneficial for me and for the organization to get the best package available, so that the organization is still established.
ESPN: Would you like to do something different?
AD: No. I wish I did it the way I did. I am a very honest and honest person. You know, I want to tell you what it is. I love the city of New Orleans, but from a professional point of view and occupation in basketball, I felt it was time to move on.
ESPN: You and I have talked a lot through this last season. And every time we talked, you made me so clear that it was about you taking control of your life. Why was it such a big issue for you this year?
AD: Because I allowed people to tell me what to do and they advised me to do this or that. And now, by being able to take control of my career, whatever decision I make, you know, I can sleep at night. I'm fine. That was the most important thing for me. I was regretting and thinking a lot, I should have done it my way. OR, I should have done this differently. But now it's like, when I do it my way: I can sleep at night and I do not care what the opinions of others are.
ESPN: You are also a father now, right? To what extent does becoming a parent make you think: "Okay, it's time to be an adult and think about my family and make decisions?"
AD: I thought that getting to the league at 18 years makes you grow. But, you know, as you said, being a father definitely – well, you can not really understand it until you're a father [laughs]. And so, now, everything I do is not just about me. It is also about her.
ESPN: Well, I see it around your neck right there. [points to a necklace with a photo].
AD: Yes, everywhere with me.
ESPN: There have been some players, like Kevin Durant, who came out publicly and said: "I will not play with LeBron because of all the other things that go with it." Because it was something you did I want to do?
AD: I really do not care about media attention. You know, I just want to play. And, obviously, playing next to one of the future Hall of Famers in LeBron makes it that much easier. So, I know it's going to come with the territory, but at the end of the day, I focus on the ultimate goal, and that's about winning the championship.
ESPN: You were trying to add another superstar also with Kawhi. How did you participate in Kawhi's recruitment?
AD: I mean, Kawhi is not a great recruiter, that's what I heard. Then, I would send him text messages from time to time, but then it would be like: "Is this too much?"
ESPN: I love that you are like everyone else, like: "How do I talk to Kawhi? Is it too much? Am I texting too much?" It's like going back to appointments. Right?
AD: Yes, you really do not know. Yes [laughs].
Anthony Davis remembers the moment they exchanged him while watching a movie, which led him to ignore his agent's phone calls and learn his fate on Instagram.
ESPN: How often did you, LeBron and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, talk on the phone during that crazy week of free agency?
AD: Oh, all the time. It was like, every 30 to 45 minutes, Rob was calling me.
ESPN: We are not going.
AD: Not seriously. Rob would call me: "AD, what do you think of him?" "It's good, awesome". Back, "AD, you know, this is what's happening with him." "It's fine, great, it's okay." Sometimes I had to tell him, like, "Rob, I'm in the movies." He would say, "Well, well, call me as soon as you come out." But we're trying to put the best team around, and I think he did a great job of doing it.
ESPN: You came here and you said: "I'm here to win titles." Rob Pelinka told the media: "Anything less than a championship is not a success". Are you worried that you are setting the bar a bit too high here?
AD: No. We have a standard, and that's it, you know. Especially for me as a player. If I do not win the championship, then that season was not a success.
ESPN: In his introductory press conference, he was presented as a person they hope will be a "pillar of the Lakers in the next decade."
ESPN: You have only signed through this season. Do you think you will be a pillar of the Lakers for the next few years?
AD: Honestly, Rachel, I'm focused on this season. I do not know what is going to happen. I have a year here, so I will do my best this year. And when that time comes in the summer or, you know, when the season is over, with luck around June, after we just had a parade, and I need a couple of days to think, then I can talk about that But until then , I'm trying to do what I can to help this team win this year.