Things did not go as planned last season for LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers, which has the superstar duo fired up for another run at a title.
While James is often outspoken about his motivations, Davis is more of the strong, silent type. However, James knows what’s been going on behind the scenes for Davis and is excited to see an “angry” AD out on the floor.
“A lot of people go through the summer and they like to post their workouts, post their training, and post everything that they’re doing,” James told Spectrum SportsNet. “If there was one guy that you did not see this summer until he got married last week, it was Anthony Davis. But I knew everything that he was doing, putting in the work both in the weight room and also on the court.”
Davis was criticized following the Lakers’ early playoff exit, with Hall of Fame forward turned TNT analyst Charles Barkley dubbing him “Street Clothes Davis” when he wasn’t able to play in the postseason due to a groin injury. That was after missing 30 games with multiple lower-body issues.
“It’s not even about proving people wrong; it’s about proving himself right,” James said. “He’s one of the best players we have in this league, and I’m looking forward to a very angry Anthony Davis.”
Anthony Davis Expect to Play Mostly Center
The Lakers have been clear that they’re willing to make sacrifices heading into next season with a championship serving as not just the goal but as the expectation. One big move is Davis moving from playing the majority of his minutes at the power forward position to center. The Athletic reported that Davis is expected to start at the 5 this season, which he confirmed on Tuesday during media day.
“There was the expectation and that was discussed, and I expect to play center,” Davis said. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Me and (head coach) Frank (Vogel) talked about it a couple of times and that’s the plan. Right now, nothing is set in stone but we want to see what that looks like, and I’m comfortable with that.
“Obviously, there’s times where Dwight [Howard] or [DeAndre Jordan] might get the start at center depending on games, but for the most part, I think the plan is to go with me playing center.”
Anthony Davis Looking ‘Imposing’ Heading Into Camp
James isn’t the only one who has given Davis some strong reviews heading into camp. Head coach Frank Vogel described Davis as “imposing” heading into camp.
“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.”
If Davis can follow through and channel his inner “imposing bully,” it will bode very well for the Lakers as they hunt down the franchise’s 18th title.