Team USA's Anthony Davis, center, drives to the basket between Nigeria's… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
LONDON — Sorry for the disturbance amid the parade of U.S. basketball royalty, but where's Anthony Davis?
LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and the endless stream of umpteen-time All-Stars were at post-game interview sessions with reporters, but Davis couldn't be tracked down.
Turned out he had already wandered into the locker room, figuring nobody wanted to talk to him.
Why would they? He's a footnote, an asterisk after all the bold type and exclamation points in the oft-breathless coverage by international media of the U.S. team.
Davis has never earned a minute of NBA time, never played on international TV in June, never swept confetti from his hair in a victory parade.
He wasn't even supposed to be here at the London Olympics, selected for a spot only after Blake Griffin sustained torn knee cartilage at Team USA's training camp last month.
Hey, Anthony, got a sec to talk?
Sure. Plenty of time.
His NBA legacy is an empty canvas in an artist's studio. He was the first player taken in the draft at the end of June, property of the New Orleans Hornets after hoisting Kentucky to the NCAA championship.
Now he's at the end of the U.S. bench, grabbing minutes once the Nigerias and Tunisias of the world are comfortably put away.
"Sometimes you miss it," he said of his time in the light earlier this year. "But with these guys, they've established themselves in the league already so everybody wants to take pictures with them. You've got the best players in the NBA that everybody looks up to."
Davis, 19, is the first player to go directly from college to the Olympics since Emeka Okafor in 2004 and, before that, Christian Laettner in 1992.
There are some hiccups, for sure. He didn't get into the first half of the U.S.' record-setting wipeout of Nigeria because he couldn't find his jersey.
It appeared by halftime, he started the third quarter and scored eight seconds later on an alley-oop from Carmelo Anthony. He finished with nine points in a 156-73 victory and had two fourth-quarter dunks, the latter a midair reverse set up by Paul that drew a delightful gasp from the crowd at Olympic Park basketball arena.
"It can't get better than this. Not at all," Davis said. "These are all the superstars in the league. I'm having fun with it. I'm learning different things from every individual. They bring different things to the table."
Surprisingly, the main things he's picked up from Bryant and James, two of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, have nothing to do with offense.
"Keep talking on defense," Davis said. "That'll take me a long way. Keep communicating."
He was hailed as the draft's lone can't-miss talent after averaging 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and a sublime 4.7 blocked shots for Kentucky last season.
Listed at 6 feet 10, Davis could start immediately for New Orleans, which went 21-45 last season and planned to pair him with former Clippers guard Eric Gordon as future cornerstones.
Davis didn't even work out for the Hornets before they drafted him. Their front office already had seen enough of his quick leaping skills and solid footwork. He also can handle the ball and was originally cast as a point guard in high school before a dramatic growth spurt.
He wouldn't be on the U.S. team if injuries hadn't forced the withdrawal of big men Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Bosh and Griffin.
As if he cares how he got here.
He had three points in eight minutes in the U.S. opener against France and 12 points on five-for-five shooting in 14 minutes of a blowout against Tunisia.
He's part of one of the greatest attractions at the Olympics, even if he isn't asked to talk about it often.
"He fits in perfectly," Anthony said. "The encouragement that we give him out on the basketball court when he's in the game, he's learning as he goes along. We have guys that are constantly teaching him and giving him advice. You can't ask for anything more from Anthony Davis than what he's given us."