The six-time All-Star grew tired of others making decisions for him and wanted to take matters into his own hands.
"I just wanted to take control of my career," Davis said at his introductory press conference Saturday, courtesy of NBA TV. "It was always people kind of telling me, 'We need to do this, we need to do that. You need to do this.' I just kind of like go with it. I was young and I was like 'OK.' I feel like this person has the best interests for me, whatever. Then as I started getting older, started getting more experienced, I was like, 'I don't want to do that. I want to do it this way.'
His time in New Orleans ended tumultuously. The 26-year-old was placed on a minutes restriction following the All-Star break after the NBA reportedly threatened to fine the club if it chose to sit a healthy Davis down the stretch.
Prior to the Pelicans' final regular-season game, he arrived at the arena with a shirt that read, "That's All Folks!" on the front, causing speculation that it referred to the end of his time in New Orleans. On the same day, head coach Alvin Gentry admitted that Davis' trade request created a "toxic" environment for his club.
Despite the fallout, Davis has no regrets about his decision.
"As long as I can sleep at night and live with the decisions that I made, then I'm happy and I don't really care what no one else thinks," Davis said. "I have a great team around me who I can talk to about things that are going on and they give me great advice, and at the end of the day, I live with the decisions that I make."
The Pelicans drafted Davis first overall in 2012 and he's since developed into arguably the best big man in the game. He made six All-Star appearances and earned All-NBA first-team honors three times during his stay in the Big Easy.
Davis averaged 23.7 points, 10.5 boards, and 2.4 blocks per contest across seven seasons for New Orleans. He led the Association in rejections per game on three different occasions.