When the Los Angeles Lakers held Anthony Davis’ introductory press conference on Saturday, a number of comments from the 26-year-old big man stood out. But one interesting aspect of the conversation actually came from Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and it was focused on former Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins.
While Cousins and Davis played together with the New Orleans Pelicans previously, it’s apparent the two had strong chemistry and meshed well on the court. Shortly after the topic of the duo reuniting with the Lakers came up, the conversation shifted somewhat to Cousins and Pelinka offered high praise to the big man.
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DeMarcus Cousins Called Lakers’ X-Factor
When Davis was asked by reporters about playing power forward vs. playing center, he offered a brutally honest answer on the topic. While admitting that he’d prefer playing the four, he did tell reporters that he was open to playing the five at times if head coach Frank Vogel needed.
“I like playing the four, I’m not even going to sugarcoat it, I like playing the four. I don’t really like playing the five. But if it comes down to it, coach and you need me to play the five, then I’ll play the five.” Davis told reporters with a laugh.
Shortly after, Pelinka chimed in and spoke about the roster construction and how adding a center who can bang against the big men in the Western Conference was a focus. Pelinka first spoke about JaVale McGee and proceeded to call Cousins one of the team’s “X-factors.”
“He’s 26, so we want a decade of dominance out of him here, right? So we have to do what’s best for his body and having him bang against the biggest centers in the West every night is not what’s best for his body, or for our team or the franchise. That’s why we were so excited when we got commitments from JaVale McGee, who just with his size and length, him playing at the four and JaVale at the five, that length is extraordinary.” Pelinka told reporters.
“DeMarcus making a commitment to come here, he just complemented and played so well with AD in New Orleans. You can just tell he made a commitment to his body and just having a huge year. I said yesterday, I think Boogie is one of the X-factors for us.” Pelinka concluded.
It’s a strong comment from Pelinka, but one that’s certainly understandable. It’s been widely-known, even before the comments on Saturday, that Davis preferred playing power forward over center. Having the ability to pair him up with a player like Cousins while rolling out a strong roster from top-to-bottom is only going to benefit the two big men.
Anthony Davis Praises Lakers’ Roster
Among the other topics which stood out, Davis was asked about the Lakers’ new-look roster and his thoughts on the group as a whole. Davis heaped praise on the group and told reporters during his presser that he’d put the roster “up against anybody” in the league. Beyond that, he cited the belief that the Lakers would come out victorious in a seven-game series against anyone.
It’s apparent that Davis is a fan of the team’s new core and is excited about the upcoming season next to LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, Cousins and the plethora of free-agent signings. As far as how quickly this group will be able to mesh, that’s going to be an interesting storyline to monitor.