It’s a pivotal offseason for Anthony Davis. The eight-time All-Star is coming off two down seasons due to injury after the Los Angeles Lakers handed him a $190 million contract. There have been questions about his commitment to basketball and some have pushed the team to trade him while he still has value.
While Davis still has value now, another disappointing season could tank his valuable around the NBA. The Lakers need him to be the best player on the team if they hope to turn things around. New head coach Darvin Ham was acutely aware of this. He believes Los Angeles isn’t doing anything next season if Davis isn’t a superstar.
“With AD, I would say he’s the biggest factor,” Ham told Marc Spears of Andscape. “I’m looking forward to him having a huge year this year. I know the way we’re going to play is going to benefit him. The way I’m going to take care of him, make sure we take care of him, it’s going to benefit him. That size, that skill set, that approach. What you saw in the bubble, we’re bringing that back. And again, we got to make sure we take care of him, meet all of his needs physically and make sure he’s in a good space mentally, spiritually, but he’s the factor. This s*** ain’t going to work without AD being right.”
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Davis Is ‘Locked in’ This Offseason
Davis caused quite a stir earlier this offseason when he admitted on video that he went two months without touching a basketball after the season ended. That wouldn’t have been a big deal had he put together a better season. However, just because he wasn’t shooting, doesn’t mean he wasn’t working. Davis has said in the past he likes to take some time away from the court and starts with weight training.
In recent weeks, he’s been seen working out with famed shooting coach Lethal Shooter. The coach recently posted on Twitter that Davis has been coming in at 4:50 AM every morning to work on his shooting.
Rob Pelinka Praises Davis’ Efforts This Offseason
Davis has taken in a lot of criticism the last couple of years due to his inability to stay on the court. Injuries are something that every player deals with but Davis has been accused of not putting in the necessary work to stay healthy. He’s long been considered one of the most talented basketball players on the planet but opinions on him are changing. Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka has been impressed with how much work Davis is putting in this offseason.
“He’s bought in, and I think he’s quietly put together one of the biggest offseasons of his career,” Pelinka told ESPN. “You can just tell. He’s got a very serious tone about him. Last year didn’t unfold the way that any of us wanted, and I think everyone’s gonna come back with a chip on our shoulder, and AD’s gonna lead us with that. I think he’s working hard. I know he’s working really hard on his body.”