NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis didn’t get off the bench in the 2014 All-Star Game until midway through the second quarter.
And, truth be told, he was nervous when he did rise up off the bench, something he didn’t fully expect.
But he relied on some advice passed along to him, and he made the most of his initial appearance, though – one jumper, one straight dunk and two alley-oops, both lobs coming from former New Orleans team member Chris Paul.
“They told me don’t shoot a jumper on your first shot,” Davis said Sunday night, surrounded by local media in the interview room. “Your legs get weak and you go air ball, John (Wall) told me LeBron (James) told him. That first one, that’s why I hesitated for like three seconds. I didn’t want to shoot it. I (was) too open and nobody was running out to me so I’ve got to shoot it.”
Davis’ night wasn’t MVP-worthy, not when Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving was shooting 82 percent (14 of 17), scoring 31 points and dishing out 14 assists in guiding the East to a 163-155 win over the West.
It did allow the locals in attendance (the bulk?) to see the continuing brilliance on the basketball court by this city’s most visible round ball asset.
The super sophomore eventually finished with 10 points, two steals and one rebound in just 9 minutes, 35 seconds on the court.
He would liked to have played more - “Of course,” Davis said – but not at the expense of winning.
And besides, he didn’t really expect to see minutes like Kevin Durant’s nearly 35.
“I just wanted to win, actually,” Davis said. “I watched KD and LeBron go at it and Kyrie and Steph (Curry) for a little bit. Then Kyrie and CP. It was fun. It was a fun experience for me. First All-Star. Second year. I wasn’t going in expecting to play a lot of minutes.”
Still, being on the bench wasn’t a total loss. He spent much of the time talking with Paul and the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, whom he replaced because of an injury.
It was those moments on the court, however, that most will remember about Davis’ first-ever All-Star experience, including the assists from Paul.
“He had great timing,” Davis said. “Great court vision. Great awareness. I was just trying to get out and run the open floor. I knew he was going to find me.”