When LeBron James shipped away practically the entire Lakers young core of Lonzo Ball,Brandon Ingram,Ivica Zubac,Josh Hart, and Kyle Kuzma away for Anthony Davis I told myself LeBron James was clearly looking to chase after Michael Jordan’s elusive 6 ring count; but what hampered Anthony Davis in New Orleans is now hampering him more than ever in Los Angeles, injuries. It was magnificent to watch Anthony Davis blossom into a 3 level scorer at the NBA level since I watched him play like Bill Russell under John Calipari at Kentucky where he helped the Wildcats capture the NCAA title by practically dominating the boards and blocking everything in sight.
I forgot he was even a guard in high-school and I thought he’d never be the type of scorer he has shown himself to be; he is an amazing basketball player but it might be time to consider moving Anthony Davis over the off-season in order for the Lakers to save face, well that is if they want to keep LeBron in Los Angeles beyond this season which is getting murkier by the day; as the Lakers keep falling lower and lower on the Western Conference standings with there only hope being the Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings coming down to earth as the second half of the season approaches.
I mean what is Rob Pelinka’s master-plan? Flush this season down the drain and bank on Kyrie Irving growing disgusted enough after suffering yet another early exit in the playoffs this season and salivate about a reunion with his former running mate in Cleveland LeBron James? Sure they were legendary together after helping the Cleveland Cavaliers put together a mind blowing comeback in the 2016 NBA Finals but there is one problem, LeBron James is no longer the guy who made you feel like it was him against the entire opposing team and would get win after win no matter who was on the court with him. I wouldn’t say LeBron James is not capable of carrying a team to a championship any longer but need I remind the critics that he is 38 years old practically and the plan all along was for Anthony Davis to take the reins from LeBron James, which some would argue happened the year they won the championship together but really it felt more like 50/50 between the two.
Prior to Anthony Davis suffering a foot injury which has kept him out the past 5-6 games he was playing at a level where I was convinced he either ran into a rant video I put out on YouTube where I put his career in the NBA into question; or maybe he ran into comments made by former hall-of-famers Kevin Garnett and Charles Barkley who both were critical of the direction his career was taking. If healthy I believe Anthony Davis was good enough where if had he not got injured in the first-round the Lakers would’ve made a deep run in the 2021 NBA Playoffs and could’ve quite possibly won back to back titles but Davis suffering an injury against the Phoenix Suns threw every thing off for the Lakers; LeBron was forced to ratchet up his play at the wrong time after he himself had an injury rattled campaign and Devin Booker gave the Lakers the kiss of death with a 48 point explosion in Staples Center.
Last year Davis missed half the season and once again ruined the Lakers’s chances of ever building any sort of chemistry between LeBron,Westbrook,and Davis; at one point do the Lakers pull the plug? Counting on Anthony Davis to remain healthy is like banking on a great white shark to let a sea lion live after spotting it 20 feet away, not happening. It’s evident the Lakers won’t trade Davis at the deadline; you just don’t do that being that beyond himself,LeBron James,and Russell Westbrook you are playing with house money expecting anyone to perform at an adequate level. The Lakers are not the Warriors,Grizzlies,Pelicans, or Clippers 4 teams in their same conference who all possess depth and will still be highly competitive even if Stephen Curry,Ja Morant,Zion Williamson, or Kawhi Leonard decide to take a night off. LeBron takes a night off and no Russell Westbrook won’t be carrying you to a win by scoring 40+ points,grabbing 12-15 rebounds,and dishing out 10-20 assists; even if it’s Westbrook and Davis without LeBron could we really trust them to carry the Lakers to a top 8 seed in the West? It’s possible but Davis is never on the court so who cares.
I’ve always gave Anthony Davis the benefit of the doubt but it’s time for the Lakers to cut their losses and trade him over the summer; he will help the Lakers net the young star and role players which could help turn things around in Los Angeles around LeBron James. I’m convincing myself that prior to LeBron putting pen to paper on the 2-year $97 million extension he originally signed that Rob told LeBron let’s see how things play out with Anthony Davis one last time and if all fails I’ll lure someone in free-agency with Westbrook’s contract coming off the books and the return we’ll get for Davis. Anthony Davis is like that exotic supercar which is a blast to drive and will break necks everywhere it goes but it will break down on you sooner than later if it’s your daily driver. My point is yes Anthony Davis could still be great as he approaches 30 but he is not built to be the guy LeBron James could fall back on and even if he is he won’t and never will be able to remain healthy throughout a regular season to allow LeBron to play a lesser role and fulfill winning one last championship in Los Angeles much like Dwyane Wade did with LeBron James in Miami. Where Dwyane Wade was with LeBron James is where LeBron James needs to be with Anthony Davis which has clearly not been the case.
I hope Anthony Davis does prove me wrong, hearing him remain positive through all the turmoil the Lakers have faced all of this season is great but if there is one thing I have learned in life is that talk is talk. Davis can keeping talking the talk but much like myself and the entire Lakers Nation we want to see him walk that walk and play like the top 5 player he should be at this point in his career and help the Lakers hang another banner. It’s do or die for Davis this season, the Lakers mortgaged their entire future to bring him over to Los Angeles to pair with LeBron James to make history. It would be a tragic failure if the LeBron-Davis era concludes with 1 title; which I give them all the praise in the world for winning since they won in dominant fashion after a 4-month delay to the season. As the Lakers sit at 14-21 after suffering yet another loss to the Miami Heat, I’ll hold out hope the Lakers can still turn things around; after all whenever LeBron James and Anthony Davis have both been healthy in the playoffs they haven’t been beat, so the objective the rest of the way will be forget seeding, get yourself in the dance and the let the chips fall where they may.