After the Lakers traded away six players and three first-round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis in July, Davis came to Los Angeles with a ton of responsibility on his shoulders and that weight only got heavier when he finally arrived.
In September, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that LeBron James asked the Lakers’ brass to make Davis the focal point of the team’s offense. At James’ introductory press conference in September, James confirmed that report, saying it would make “no sense” if they didn’t because of how talented Davis is.
Now, we’ve learned that James relayed that message to Davis even before then, and during a recent interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic, he talked about what that conversation with James was like:
“It was tough because I had done it in New Orleans, but that was because it was like ‘AD you have to.’ Now it’s like, ‘well all right, we’re gonna split this 50/50. And when (LeBron) came he was like ‘nah, this is yours. I’ll play the second guy. We’re going through you.’ ... And then it’s the Lakers ... There’s a bigger spotlight, the media is bigger, ‘does AD have what it takes?’ ... I really had to really wrap my head around ‘this is going to be a fun year. It’s not going to be tough, it’s not going to be hard, it’s going to be fun. Let’s have fun with it.’ So I tell him all the time, ‘most importantly, no matter what we do, let’s have fun. Let’s enjoy this.’”
That “just have fun” energy has been prevalent so far this season. Obviously that’s easy to say when the Lakers are winning as much as they have been (10-2), but even the teams that are having successful seasons don’t look like they’re having as much fun as James and Davis are when they’re on the court.
The Lakers haven’t been a very good team for the greater half of this decade, so even if things do get tough later season, it’s important to enjoy every part of it. Like Davis said: “Let’s have fun with it.”