Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis bounced back from a subpar performance in the season opener with a triple-double versus the Phoenix Suns. The former had Fox Sports 1 personality Nick Wright suggesting the Lakers trade Davis for Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid.
The latter led to a fitting reaction from LeBron James.
“We don’t give a s*** about criticism about AD,” James told TNT NBA reporter Jared Greenberg on October 26.
“We don’t care. Nothing bothers us. AD doesn’t care. I don’t know if guys have figured that out. AD does not care. He’s not on social media so he doesn’t see none of the crap. He rarely talks, that’s just us. So we don’t give a s*** about it, and he definitely doesn’t. He go out and do his job, and we happy to have AD.”
Still, Davis made his presence felt in a way that he failed to do in the opener.
Lakers Can ‘Win it All’ if Anthony Davis Keeps Up Production
It may not completely quiet the trade talk from the outside, at least not entirely. But Davis’ performance is a reminder of what he is capable of and has instilled some confidence in some of the loudest outside voices.
“You know who I have a problem with, is everybody who has a problem with AD. Because the Lakers don’t have an AD problem,” said ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins on “First Take” on October 27. “He has shown us time and time again that he’s capable of rising to the occasion and getting things done.”
Davis also attempted 10 free throws, committed two turnovers, and two personal fouls.
It didn’t hurt that he and James were able to take over the final stretch of the game versus the weakened Suns.
Anthony Davis, LeBron James Lean on Strength
The two combined for a two-man action in the final minute of the game, breaking a 91-all tie as part of their late takeover, as Trudell explained. Both players expressed confidence in their ability to get to that and other actions at any point if needed.
“We have a few actions where we know we can at least get a good look,” James said of the strategy, per Trudell.
The Lakers were without Jarred Vanderbilt as he continues to recover from a calf strain that kept him out of all but one contest this preseason. They will see the Suns again on the road on November 10 when Phoenix could be at or closer to full strength in a contest that will also be the first In-Season Tournament contest for both clubs.
Up next for L.A. is the Sacramento Kings.
Sacramento boasts the NBA’s fifth-highest offensive rating through two games, per NBA.com, providing another good test for the Lakers’ defense.