The Los Angeles Lakers have kicked off training camp and are fielding their best roster in damn near a decade, making this one of the most fascinating (and important) seasons in recent memory, but lingering in the background of the festivities is the decision that faces Anthony Davis in free agency.
When asked about it at media day, though, neither — nor teammate LeBron James — were all that interested in the subject matter.
“I just want to focus on this year. Coming here, the Lakers have welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like this was home, but at the same time it’s about what we can do this year. We have a special team, a special unit, a special coaching staff and we want to do whatever we can to focus on this year and try to come out victorious,” Davis told reporters.
James ran with a similar line of thinking as Davis, saying that they have to stay focused on the task at hand.
“I live in the present. What’s happened in the past, there is nothing you can do about that, and you have no idea what the future holds. If you start to think about the future, then you’re going to miss out on great opportunities that are right in front of your face, and I think that’s even more selfish,” James said.
He took that a step further than even Davis in saying that he isn’t interested in discussing this for the rest of the season.
“Having AD here right now and having this ball club right here, we’re not going to even address that throughout the season,” James said. “Our goal is to get better every day. Coach Vogel and the coaching staff are going to put us in the best possible chance for us to win every night, and that’s what it’s all about.”
As much as James and Davis would like to think they can avoid this subject all year, that’s just not quite how this works — and they likely know that. They know that anytime the Lakers go through some midseason swoon or video surfaces of them disagreeing as teammates do, questions about Davis’ free agency are going add to the noise surrounding the team.
What they can do, however, is quiet that stuff through their play. If the Lakers meet or exceed expectations this year, they’ll snuff out any noise about Davis wanting out. Does that mean success guarantees Davis will definitely stick around? Of course not, but fewer people will be worried about him leaving if less reason for concern is given.
The Lakers would obviously be screwed if Davis (or James for that matter) decide to call it quits on their partnership with the team sooner than originally planned. But it’s a decision far enough into the future that it’s not really worth worrying about right now.
As James says, enjoy the moment. This season is the kind of fun that fan bases wait decades to be able to enjoy. And if things go according to plan and Davis stays, Lakers fans can look forward to a few more seasons like it.