Hernández: Anthony Davis seems to lack the heart and drive the Lakers need

There’s a lot to like about Anthony Davis.

he is warm He is smart. He’s quick to point fingers at himself when he makes mistakes.

But he doesn’t get it.

Davis is entering his fourth season with the Lakers and still doesn’t get it.

“I’m not going to think too much and listen to what everyone else is saying and try to be that player that they want, that Greek god,” he said.

He smiled.

“I say Greek, but not Giannis [Antetokounmpo],” he said.

Here’s the problem: This is what the Lakers want him to do.

The Lakers held their media day on Monday, the stench of a particularly bad season still permeating their El Segundo training facility.

Davis’ nonchalance was notable, especially when you compare his demeanor to that of the team’s other two high-profile players, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.

James was evasive and Westbrook defiant, her approaches to reporters obviously designed to protect her bruised ego.

Davis was carefree, his lighter nature and outspokenness making him the most agreeable of the team’s stars.

Those same qualities also made him a constant cause for concern, as his playing often reflected his laid-back personality. After winning a championship in the pandemic-hit 2019-20 season, Davis has lost two seasons and averaged 22.5 points in 76 total games.

Lakers forward Anthony Davis and head coach Darvin Ham chat during media day.

Lakers forward Anthony Davis and coach Darvin Ham chat during media day.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Forget Zeus or Heracles or any of the other Greek gods. Davis doesn’t have the drive of a Greek freak.

The what-happens-happens approach is particularly troubling after a season in which Davis was limited to 40 games due to knee and foot injuries.

The changes Davis made to his offseason training program to stay healthy?

“Honestly, exactly the same as last season,” he said with a chuckle.

He described the injuries as freak accidents and how doctors told him his off-season work prevented more serious problems.

But what if he was just a little bit faster or just a little bit stronger? Maybe he could have avoided the injuries altogether.

Whatever Davis is doing isn’t working, as he has only played 70+ games twice in his 10-season career, the last time in 2017-18.

The Lakers can’t win without Davis on the court.

Westbrook has an awkward playing style and public persona that have made him a symbol of the Lakers’ failures, but the reality is that Davis’ ailing health is the team’s biggest obstacle to success.

Davis is 29 and his medical history is part of who he is.

Through their actions, the Lakers have made it clear that they don’t expect miracles.

Before either player spoke to reporters, general manager Rob Pelinka addressed the widespread perception that the Lakers don’t want to trade their first-round picks in 2027 and 2029.

“Let me be very clear,” said Pelinka. “We have one of the greatest players in LeBron James to ever play the game and he signed us to a long-term deal, a three-year deal. So of course we’ll do everything we can, including picking, to close deals that give us a chance to help LeBron get through to the end.

However, Pelinka added: “You only get one chance to do it. So we are very careful about when and how we use draft capital to improve our squad.”

In other words, Pelinka has a shot at making the Lakers champions. The fact that he hasn’t traded the picks yet suggests he doesn’t think they’re close to a contest.

Davis’ unreliability must be a factor.

James turns 38 in December but averaged 30.3 points per game last season. If Davis could be counted on to stay put, chances are Westbrook and the two draft picks would be owned by another team by now.

That’s not what the Lakers had in mind when they traded for Davis, who would replace James as the cornerstone of the franchise. Davis has the talent to make him a worthy recipient of the torch in James’ possession, but doesn’t have the stamina or the mindset.

He seems to know that.

In the past he has spoken of the need to be more assertive in games. He spoke Monday about the importance of playing with an advantage as he, James and Westbrook would have chips on their shoulders.

“It’s not just given to us,” Davis said. “We must take it.”

But the ideas in his brain don’t necessarily seem to translate into feelings in his heart, which could explain why he said in the same nine-minute question-and-answer session, “I don’t push myself at all.”

Davis has shown he’s the kind of person who would make a good neighbor. That’s something, but it’s not what these Lakers want or need.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/story/2022-09-27/lakers-star-anthony-davis-lacks-heart-and-drive Hernández: Anthony Davis seems to lack the heart and drive the Lakers need

Emma Bowman

USTimesPost.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@ustimespost.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button