After last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony Davis is a made man. Not only did he win his first title, but he also did it with the most popular team in the league. This offseason, Davis was rewarded with a massive five-year contract that’s going to keep him in Los Angeles for a while.
It appears he’s already spending some of that contract money on a slick new Rolls-Royce. Kyle Kuzma caught a peek of the car and couldn’t help but troll his superstar teammate.
It’s probably good for Davis to get knocked down a peg or two. He has the potential to be the best player in the NBA within the next couple of seasons as long as he can remain hungry.
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Lakers Picked to Win Championship
It’s really hard to win an NBA championship but it’s a lot harder to win back-to-back championships. The Lakers have put themselves in a prime position to make it happen. They’ve made some big upgrades to the roster. While it’s great to have depth, the Lakers are the favorites to win because of Davis and LeBron James. Tim Bontemps of ESPN polled eight NBA executives and four of them picked the Lakers to win it all again:
“LeBron and AD are too good,” said a Western Conference executive who picked the Lakers to win the title. “And I think they got better.”
No other team got more than one vote. LeBron’s age is concerning but he proved last season that he’s got plenty of juice left in the tank. It’s fair to continue to say that he’s the best player in the world until he actually shows signs of slowing down.
AD Is 2nd Best Player in the NBA?
As great as LeBron is, the Lakers should start looking to Davis to become the top player on the team. He’s fresh off a championship run and still just 27. He should be in for the best year of his career. In ESPN’s player rankings, they ranked Davis as the second-best player in the world behind LeBron:
For the first time in the 10-year history of NBArank, teammates finished 1-2. It’s a testament to how well AD played in the Lakers’ championship run that he created debate about who should win Finals MVP. It was Davis who hit the biggest shot of the playoffs, a 3-pointer to win Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. And the Lakers played better with Davis alone on the court in the postseason (plus-5.0 points per 100 possessions, via NBA Advanced Stats) than with LeBron James alone (plus-0.5) — a reversal from the regular season.
Many could argue that Davis isn’t actually the second-best player in the world. However, there were many games where he was the best player on the court for the champion Lakers. He’s not as consistently great in clutch situations as LeBron but he proved last season that he can step up when it counts. The confidence that comes with a championship run should help Davis take things to the next level.