At just 19, Davis personifies green Hornets
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
With accolade after accolade coming his way in 2012, it’s sometimes easy to forget that Anthony Davis is still a teenager. In fact, the 19-year-old Chicago native isn’t far removed from his AAU days. That’s partly why the 6-foot-10 power forward wasn’t upset when he recently heard the extremely youthful 2012-13 New Orleans Hornets sarcastically described as “an AAU team.”
“But I like that,” Davis said of the tongue-in-cheek description. “You know, (AAU teams) run-and-gun, score 100 points every game. We’re very young. We’ve got a couple veterans on the team (as well as) a great coach and great coaching staff. They’ll find a way to make it all work.”
Davis is the youngest member of the team’s current 14-player roster, but a handful of teammates aren’t much older. A total of five Hornets were born in the 1990s, which might be some sort of unofficial new NBA record. The group includes rookies Austin Rivers (20) and Darius Miller (22), as well as veterans Xavier Henry (21) and Al-Farouq Aminu (22). Meanwhile, Ryan Anderson, Robin Lopez and Lance Thomas are all 24, with Eric Gordon at 23, meaning nine players are under 25.
After an offseason of widespread changes, the majority of NBA analysts are not projecting the relatively inexperienced Hornets to qualify for the playoffs in the formidable Western Conference. It seems difficult to predict what the ceiling could be for New Orleans this season, given the combination of new faces, potential and youth. In his first meeting with the local media since June, the No. 1 overall pick mentioned a few times that the Hornets are in a “rebuilding” phase. That makes it somewhat problematic to try to set a specific goal in terms of victories.
“I don’t know,” Davis said of short-term team expectations. “We’ve just got to work hard, come out each and every game hard, not lackadaisical. It will be a tough year for us, but I think we’ll be fine.”
Davis and the Hornets took one of the initial steps in bonding as a unit during recent workouts in San Antonio, where players introduced themselves to each other on and off the court.
“Chemistry,” Davis said of what the Hornets began accomplishing in the voluntary trip to Texas. “We’ve got great chemistry. (The workouts with the Spurs and Thunder) definitely showed we need to change some things up and reevaluate some things, but like I said, we’re going to be fine. It’s a young team. We’re going to try to learn from training camp.”