If he hadn’t earned his spot already, Anthony Davis has officially earned a spot in the Los Angeles Lakers‘ history books. It’s one thing to hit a game-winner, it’s another thing to do it in the Western Conference Finals while wearing the “Mamba” jersey. It’s hard to see Davis’ game-winning shot and not think of all the times Kobe Bryant saved the Lakers as time expired.
Since his passing, the Lakers have done so much to honor Kobe. Head coach Frank Vogel talked about that fact after the win and had the perfect way to describe Davis’ shot.
“We want to embody what Kobe Bryant stood for and honor his memory,” Vogel said. “Obviously there’s certain games where we’re gonna feel it a little more than others, when we have that uniform on, I think we feel it more than others. That’s a shot Kobe Bryant would hit. So to me, AD coming off, flying through the wing like that, catch-and-shoot with the game on the line in the biggest moment of our season, nothing but net, that’s a Mamba shot.”
There was a narrative that Davis isn’t a clutch player due to how many times he got eliminated early in the playoffs. Even with the Lakers, he never really put up big numbers in the fourth quarters of games. That hasn’t been the case at all in these playoffs and the game-winner was the final nail in the coffin for the narrative that he isn’t clutch.
Davis Talks Kobe
Every player on this Lakers team had some kind of relationship with Kobe before his passing. Davis went so far to admit that he said “Kobe” after he threw up the shot.
“Obviously, we’re representing him,” Davis said of Kobe. “Especially in those jerseys. It’s his jersey, one he created, and any time we put it on, we want to win.”
There’s no doubt the Lakers get an extra boost of motivation when they put on the Mamba jerseys. There are few players who are as beloved by a team as Kobe is by the Lakers. Davis hitting that epic shot is the best way he could possibly honor the legend.
Follow the Heavy on Lakers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Rajon Rondo Describes Play
Everybody in the world knew that either Davis or LeBron James was going to get the shot to hit the game-winner. The team had Rajon Rondo pass the ball into play and he described the play step by step.
“I think I made eye contact with every player on my team on that play,” Rondo said after the game, via ESPN. “My first look was Kenny [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope] backdoor. That wasn’t there. Danny [Green] backdoor. That wasn’t there. Bron and I looked eye-to-eye, but he didn’t move, and then I saw AD coming on the outside and just tried to get it to him on time, on target. I had Joker on me, so obviously, I couldn’t throw the lob pass, and [Davis] did the rest.”
Davis has come a long way in these playoffs. He’s cemented the fact that he’s one of the five best players in the NBA. As good as LeBron has been, Davis has arguably been playing better in the playoffs.