Kareem Abdul-Jabbar understands what Anthony Davis is going through as he looks for a way out of a small market like New Orleans in pursuit of a winning environment. But Kareem also believes Davis and his team handled the entire situation wrong.
"He's in a small market and the team's not doing very well, he'd like to go out and win something," Abdul-Jabbar told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. "He's made a lot of money to this point and his needs are different and the clock is ticking, so I understand what he's all about."
"I think his management people mishandled it," Abdul-Jabbar added. "When I was leaving Milwaukee, I let them know before the season started and I kept my mouth shut. Just to give them an opportunity to make the best deal they could behind closed doors." After five seasons with the Bucks, Kareem informed the organization early on that his sixth year would be his last with the team. Much like AD, the Hall of Fame center tried to push for a move to either Los Angeles or New York.
In 1975, Abdul-Jabbar got his wish and was dealt to the Lakers where he won five titles in 14 seasons. Kareem ultimately believes AD's team should have given the Pelicans much longer than two weeks to get a deal done, and remained quiet about his demands throughout the process. It's an understandable critique, but it doesn't fully take into account how NBA reporting gets done these days.
Word of Davis' trade request would have somehow gotten out, regardless if the news came from his agent Rich Paul or not. There's no perfect way to get a deal done that satisfies both parties and their demands.