The Pelicans had started last season 4-0 when their starting point guard, Elfrid Payton injured his ankle. Nothing went right thereafter, including Anthony Davis’ demand to be traded.
Elfrid Payton Sr., a Louisiana native and former star defensive end in the Canadian Football League, believes Pelicans history would have changed had his son not gone down.
Payton played just one game from Oct. 29, when he sprained his ankle, to Dec. 31. After returning from the ankle sprain on Nov. 16, he broke his middle finger in a game against the Knicks.
“I honestly believe if Elfrid doesn’t get hurt and stays healthy, they were making the playoffs,’’ Payton Sr.