Big men beware — Anthony Davis spent the offseason bulking up and the Los Angeles Lakers star is looking “imposing” with training camp approaching.
Davis is coming off an injury-plagued season that saw him miss the majority of the regular season and he exited the Lakers’ playoff series against the Suns early due to a groin injury. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said Davis put in some major work this offseason, which has him excited about what this year holds.
“He put a lot of work this offseason into his body. A lot of work,” Vogel told Allie Clifton and Chris McGee on Spectrum SportsNet’s “Lakeshow” podcast. “And we had a moment, maybe two weeks ago, where he had been training at home, and we had a conversation about ‘these are some of the concerns we have with our team, we think we’re good here, we think we’re good there,’ and then he comes in for a workout, and it was the first time we had kind of seen him for a while, and his body looked imposing.
“We all just looked at each other like ‘we’re gonna be really good this year.’ Just looking at that guy right there, we’re gonna be really good this year.”
That bodes well for the Lakers, who are expected to play Davis more at center this year. Despite the Lakers flowing better with him at the five, he’s been open about not wanting to play center in the past. That being said, maybe the extra muscle strength will have him feeling more confident against some of the more physical big man defenders in the league.
Davis Has Been Called Out For Offseason Training
Davis caught some heat during the string of injuries, with many prominent former big men calling out the Lakers star.
“He has to take another level of improving his body,” Hall of Fame forward Kevin Garnett said this summer. “Let’s just keep this real. LeBron came to LA not to leave out the league on a great note with a great establishment like the Lakers. He wanted to play with someone with a younger version of [someone extremely talented]. Similar to what Dwyane Wade did with him in Miami. AD is in LA to continue the legacy. The championship legacy and the spirit, and right now he’s not doing that.
“He has to go to another level with his body and training. Whatever he’s been doing in the last 10 years is not working. He should not be out of shape during the regular season. I don’t understand that one.”
LeBron James Looking ‘Slimmed Down’ for Season
Davis isn’t the only Lakers star who will have a slightly different physique. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said LeBron James has “slimmed up” heading into the year.
“He’s been very, very locked in with his training, and you get a sense he has a confidence in his teammates when he looks around the locker room,” Pelinka said, per Mike Trudell of Spectrum Sports.
James will turn 37 this season but shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. He was a frontrunner for the MVP last season before Solomon Hill slid into his leg, forcing him to miss 27 games.
Despite dealing with the ankle injury, James averaged 25.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists. The Lakers open their regular season against the Warriors on October 19.