Despite the Pelicans losing their season opener against the Nuggets 107-102, Anthony Davis was absolutely phenomenal on Wednesday night. He finished with 50 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, seven steals, and four blocks. He didn’t end up logging what would’ve been a monster triple-double, but he just barely missed out on something even more impressive: the mystical unicorn that is basketball’s 5×5 stat line.
The 5×5 is exactly what it sounds like, i.e. getting five or more in any five of the major statistical categories, but it’s a lot harder – and rarer – than it might appear. Davis was just one block away on Wednesday. The last person to do it was Draymond Green in 2015, when he put up 24 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, five blocks, and five steals. Before that was Nicholas Batum in 2013, who was the first one to accomplish that feat since Andre Kirilenko way back in 2006.
But perhaps what’s most telling – and exciting for Pelicans’ fans – is that the legendary player with the most 5×5 games is the same person Davis most often gets compared to: Rockets Hall-of-Famer Hakeem Olajuwon. Davis has been hailed as the NBA’s next big thing for several years now, and after a disappointing end to last season appears eager to re-establish himself as one of the premier big men in the NBA.