Since Anthony Davis was officially introduced to the Lakers, he’s made it clear that he wasn’t interested in continuing the legacy that George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal built.
“I like to play 4, I won’t make it up,” Davis said before his first season in Los Angeles. “I feel more comfortable playing in 4, I don’t really like to play pivot.”
Although he made that claim even before playing his first game at the Lakers, Davis proved during his title season on the bubble just how effective he is by playing close to the hoop. So much so, that coach Frank Vogel’s plans, who has Howard and Gasol (for now) on the team, is to use AD in the central position more than last season.
The Lakers’ most efficient quintet last season had Davis at the center, alongside LeBron, Schroder, KCP and Caruso. This group outperformed their opponents with a ridiculous rate of 49.2 points per 100 possessions.
Not to mention that Gasol is already 36 and Howard 35, it could be that Davis, at 28, is the guy to preserve them and not the other way around. While Davis’ offensive numbers have been better as a pivot than a power wing since arriving in LA – averaging 28.5 points over 36 minutes with 52% shooting, compared to 24.9 points over 36 with 48.6% playing on the wing – it is its impact on the other end that is noticeable.
Davis has repeatedly stated his desire to win the Defensive Player of the Year award, and with the Lakers losing some of their best defenders in the offseason, maybe that’s a good reason to convince the player to play more of a pivot for good.
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Pelicans fans prove they haven’t forgiven Anthony Davis
In January 2019, Rich Paul told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Davis had no intention of signing a maximum five-year contract worth $240 million to remain in New Orleans. The NBA ended up fining Davis $50,000 for publicly requesting an exchange, a violation of the NBA’s collective agreement.
Paul and Davis’ request was not worth it at the time. Davis ended up not being traded before the February 7 deadline, and for the rest of the season the atmosphere was heavy between him and the organization.
He fluctuated between being on court and out of play for the rest of the season when he was caught showing the middle finger at a Pelicans fan. Then, to make matters worse, he wore an “That’s it, guys” jersey for the team’s last home game.
Not long after the season ended, the Lakers shed most of their youth core by parting with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks to have Davis in Los Angeles.
It’s not hard to understand why Pelicans fans still harbor a certain hatred for The Brow after all that drama.
Even in times like these, with a Category 4 hurricane approaching Louisiana, Pelicans fans don’t forget. In a rush to the markets, it was all over in a matter of minutes, but the Davis-faced Ruffles remained on the shelves.
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All kidding aside, we sincerely hope that everyone is taking the necessary precautions and sheltering from Hurricane Ida, and that everyone will be all right.