LOS ANGELES — As Anthony Davis entered the launch party for NBA 2K20 as the game’s cover star, he seemed to walk with the relaxed air of a man who has what he’s wanted. Davis is now on the Lakers, the team he spent much of last season trying to force his way to, and he’s at the center of the NBA universe as a result, gracing the cover of the league’s flagship game.
But Davis doesn’t actually have everything he wants. He still has one more goal to check off his list: Winning a title for the Lakers.
It’s a goal he says the whole rest of the team shares.
“That’s our main goal,” Davis told reporters on the black carpet as camera flashes captured his every step towards the blaring hip-hop music that indicated the direction of the party. “We want to come in and make sure that we have one goal, and that’s to come together and win a championship.”
The Lakers’ path to doing so won’t be easy. Davis and LeBron James give the team one of the best — and most complementary — duos the league has ever seen, and the team does seem to at the very least have a solid supporting cast for their two stars.
Still, the Western Conference will be as competitive as ever, with the Lakers’ cross-hall rival Clippers looming as perhaps the biggest threat of all. Every team’s margin for error will be thin in a playoff race in which a few games could make a massive difference in terms of where they land in the postseason bracket.
With those stakes, the Lakers will need every advantage they can get, and can’t necessarily save as many aces up their sleeve for the postseason. One such trump card could be lineups with Davis at center, something he’s let it be known he would rather mostly do in the postseason. The team seems to be in lockstep with Davis on that direction, but he’s also previously said he’d play center if need be. He reiterated that his stance hasn’t changed.
“That’s something that we’re going to discuss,” Davis said. “Obviously if I have to, I’m willing to do it. But my preferred position is that I like to be a four.”
Still, DeMarcus Cousins’ injury forced the Lakers to sign — and potentially rely on — the always-enigmatic Dwight Howard. That could necessitate Davis playing a bit more center, a possibility he acknowledged before saying “we’ll see how it goes.”
And ultimately he’s right. There is no way to know for sure how much the Lakers will need Davis to play center during the regular season until it gets here. There is no way to predict with absolute certainty how their current rotation of JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard will play out. Maybe those two will hold down the fort and allow Davis to get most of his minutes at the spot he prefers, or maybe they won’t.
As Davis noted, those are concerns for another day. For now, all we can know for sure is that Davis says this roster is all in on a title. We’ll see if any of its possible limitations force him to put his money where his mouth is, and play a position he doesn’t want to in order to put himself in a position to get the championship he wants most of all.
We’ll see how it goes.
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. NBA 2K20 releases on Sept. 6 and can be ordered here. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.