One of the major themes of everything Anthony Davis said at the press conference introducing him as the newest Los Angeles Lakers star was that his sole focus and motivation right now is to win his first NBA championship.
A day later, Davis’ camp is letting it be known that his actions will continue to back up those words, as Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports is reporting that Davis will opt out of consideration to join the USA Basketball roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup:
Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis will not participate at USA Basketball training camp and will remove his name from consideration for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in September, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Davis, 26, wants to utilize the bulk of his offseason to prepare for a championship run with his new team, sources said.
Davis’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, confirmed his client’s decision to Yahoo Sports.
Davis remains committed to competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, sources said.
Davis sitting out isn’t a huge shock given everything else he’s said and done in pursuit of his first title. Davis has already waived his $4 million trade-kicker and helped the Lakers recruit DeMarcus Cousins, literally putting his money where his mouth is to give the team more cash to help them pursue a better roster to aid Davis in his title pursuit.
And while Davis might not have been paid for the World Cup, he is missing out on the marketing and endorsement opportunities that surround it, another financial sacrifice to help him win his first championship. No one is going to cry for a millionaire missing out on some money, but Davis is giving up real potential compensation here to make sure he goes into his first Lakers season fully healthy. That’s something Lakers fans should be excited about.
Even without Davis — and LeBron James, who will be a DNP-(Filming Space Jam 2) for the tournament — the Lakers still have a chance to be represented on the U.S. team, as Kyle Kuzma will join them for training camp
Kuzma will have a chance to make the final roster that will travel to the World Cup, which will take place from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15, with the winner automatically qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
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