In just 15 days, Anthony Davis, LeBron James and the new-look Los Angeles Lakers will take the floor at the brand new Chase Center in San Francisco for their first preseason game against the Golden State Warriors.
While no one knows exactly how Davis and James will look together, most people — including Davis himself — expect them to be really, really good. During a recent interview with Peter Flax of The Red Bull Bulletin, Davis said that he’s had conversations with James over the summer and they’ve both set their expectations high for the upcoming season:
Still, everyone really wants to know how Davis and LeBron James will mesh. As we sit and talk in Encino, Lakers practices have not yet started, but Davis says that he and LeBron “talk every day — about the team and our goals, what we want to do this year and what we want to accomplish, and breaking it down to the very smallest molecules,” he says. “I think two guys like us, we have a very good chance of doing something special.”
He adds: “We haven’t done anything in terms of basketball together — that time is going to come.”
The Lakers have seen their fair share of dynamic duos over the years, from Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant to Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but they’ve never seen one quite like James and Davis — mostly because few players have ever been as dominant as they’ve been individually throughout their careers.
Prior to Davis’s trade request that restricted his playing time for the remainder of the season, he was averaging 28.1 points per game (tied for his career-high) on 50.8 percent shooting from the field while averaging 12.9 rebounds (career-high), 4.2 assists (career-high) 1.6 steals (career-high) and 2.5 blocks per game. Had he held those averages, he would have been just the third player in NBA history to end the season having averaged at least 28 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocks per game in a single season.
The other player? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob McAdoo.
The season prior, Davis logged a total of 2,110 points, 832 rebounds, 174 assists, 193 blocks and 115 steals, something only David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Abdul-Jabbar have been able to accomplish in a single season. Of that group, he had the highest true shooting percentage (61.2 percent).
He’s special, and LeBron James is LeBron James. It’ goes without saying, but Davis’s confidence isn’t misplaced.
All stats are courtesy of Basketball Reference. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.