At one point of his career, Anthony Davis was considered one of the absolute best players on the planet with plenty of room still to grow. That reputation has slipped in recent years as he’s come under fire for demanding out of New Orleans, but his talent level remains the same.
If you ask Rich Paul — who has served as Davis’ agent for the last year — not even the reigning MVP has the same ceiling as Davis, as he told Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“He’s just as talented as anyone who’s ever played this game,” Paul says. “Six-11, makes 3s, blocks shots. I think he’s one of the better passing big men in our game. In my opinion, this is what makes him different from Giannis [Antetokounmpo].
”Like, if you put Anthony Davis on that Bucks team last year, they’d be playing in the Finals. He knows how to make guys better. That’s not a knock to Giannis, but that’s just what [I think].”
Color me shocked that Paul, who represents Davis, would say such a thing publicly. It’s a truly, truly incredible development that surely no one could have seen this coming.
In all honesty, there are few more tiresome arguments than “if you removed player X from one team and swapped them for player Y, would that team get better or worse?”
If you took Kostas Antetokounmpo’s more famous older brother off the Bucks and simply added Davis, they would have an incredibly crowded frontcourt with not nearly enough perimeter creativity (remember, Malcom Brogdon was hurt for most of last year’s playoffs). Davis and Antetokounmpo play two different positions with wildly different approaches to the game, so direct comparisons are by-and-large moot points.
Comparison remains the thief of joy.
Rather than point out who is better, or which team would be best with whichever superstar, the NBA is exponentially more fun to enjoy when you admire these guys for the talents they are.
Both Davis and Antetokounmpo are seven feet tall and wildly athletic yet also retain guard-like basketball skills. Do you realize how insane that is?
All due respect to Paul. He’s obviously allowed to offer whatever opinion he wants (while we also keep in mind how this specific one about this specific player stands to benefit him), but these kinds of conversations do more to drive me insane than make me think critically about either player or enjoy their incredibly unique brands of basketball.
Also, like, Rich... What are you doing pissing Antetokuomnpo off as he prepares for free agency? The goal here should be uniting these two, not dividing them with useless comparisons. Keep your eyes on the prize, man.