LeBron James says Anthony Davis is the face of Lakers

Dave McMenaminESPN Staff WriterOctober 2, 2023 11:074 min read

LeBron hopes Lakers can move forward

LeBron James is optimistic about the Lakers heading into the new season.

El Segundo, Calif. Two decades into his NBA career and his trophy shelf running out of room for all he has accomplished, LeBron James appears ready to pass the torch to teammate Anthony Anthony Davis becomes the leader of the Los Angeles Lakers.

“He’s the face of (the team),” James told ESPN during the Lakers’ annual media day on Monday. “You look at all these (retired) players around this facility, all the great players that have come here and AD is one of them.”

Entering the offseason, James and Davis’ contracts are valid at the same time, and both players can choose to stay in Los Angeles until the 2024-25 season in the final years of their contracts.

However, Davis pushed his timeline ahead of James in August when he signed a three-year, $186 million max contract extension that will keep him with the Purple and Gold through 2028. . At the time of the agreement, it was the most lucrative annual contract extension in league history, averaging $62 million per season.

“I’m very, very happy and very proud,” James told ESPN when asked about the Davis trade. “It’s great to see him get an extension and be a part of his team year in and year out. .It’s been a pleasure playing with him so far and I hope we can do some great things.”

Almost as soon as the four-time MVP joined the Lakers, James publicly lobbied the Lakers to acquire Davis. After the Lakers acquired Davis in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019, the two fit perfectly in the first season.

In 2020, they capped off their first season with a championship inside the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida. But the same success didn’t follow, as Los Angeles lost in the first round in 2021 and was completely ineligible for the 2022 playoffs due to injuries. Davis and others paid the price.

But Davis and the Lakers reached the Western Conference Finals again this spring, with the eight-time All-Star setting career highs in field goal percentage (56.3) and rebounds (12.5) while averaging 25.9 points per game. and 2.0 blocks. game.

However, when reporters asked him directly if his new deal made him feel like this was his team now, Davis didn’t dwell on the question.

“I think this is the Lakers’ team, and I play for the Lakers,” Davis said nonchalantly.

Davis’ importance to the franchise cannot be understated — regardless of having the unofficial title of being the team’s face — and he acknowledges it.

“I think I’m going to be the second-oldest guy here now, so people know a lot about me,” Davis, 30, said. “I feel like it’s my responsibility, to be one of the leaders on the team with LeBron. It’s my job to help those guys, help the young guys and keep supporting them. Let them know what we need and what talents we need. Get better and give them advice so we can come together and compete for a championship together.”

Davis, who missed 26 games last season with a foot injury, said he entered training camp “feeling good physically” and that he maintained his goal from last season to stay on the court as much as possible.

“My goal is to play 82 games a year,” Davis said. “I didn’t do anything different this summer. I took some time off. Back in the lab, I’m ready to start. Nothing has changed. Every year you want to go out in every game and make a contribution for your team Contribute to a chance to win. Especially with my role, I know it’s a big part of this team and me being out there, it definitely helps us.”

Source link

Leave a Comment