The confetti had barely settled on the floor of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex gym in Orlando, Florida on Sunday night when Anthony Davis was already getting questions about what he’d do in free agency. Davis answered that he didn’t know, but what LeBron James said to him as the Lakers celebrated winning the 2019-20 NBA championship made it clear that Davis’ co-star has some ideas.
As the Lakers sprayed each other with champagne, James had a message for Davis. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, it was a simple one:
“We’ve got more work to do,” sources said James told Davis during their celebration in the locker room.
Haynes is as plugged in with James, Davis and the Klutch Sports camp as they come, so there is little reason to doubt that this is not only exactly what James said to Davis, but also something that he and Davis wanted fans to hear. There may be some nebulousness over exactly what type of deal Davis will re-sign under, or if he’ll opt into the final year of his deal, but between this, and him saying publicly that he wants to follow James to nine more NBA Finals, there is little reason to doubt he’ll be a Laker for a while.
And the type of work James and Davis have to do isn’t just winning titles. As James constantly says, it’s always about the process. According to Haynes, James has helped Davis develop a better one this season:
James introduced Davis to his nutrition plan and recommended he receive preventative maintenance treatment on a regular basis, sources said.
And to eliminate excessive wear and tear, Davis purposely sought to reduce the number of times he fell to the floor when attacking the basket, sources said.
Both things allowed Davis to only miss nine of the Lakers’ 71 games this season, which would have been near the best rate in his career. He also played by far the most games he’s ever played in a season due to how far the Lakers went in the playoffs, and he was able to suit up for every game the Lakers played in the postseason despite being listed on the injury report for all of them.
And from crediting James for helping him make adjustments on the court, to saying James helps him stay level-headed, to even joking that James has given him recommendations on how to sleep more efficiently using the Calm app James endorses, Davis has made it clear publicly that he’s learned a lot from James this year, both on and off the court. That’s probably a big part of why we’ve heard all year long that the league is all-but-certain Davis is staying with the Lakers.
So while nothing is done until it’s done, this is just the latest sign that the Lakers’ Step Brothers aren’t splitting up any time soon. L.A. is their treehouse, they’ve got their Wookie masks, and the league is going to be their playground for the foreseeable future.