When LeBron James won his first championship, he was 27, just a little older than Anthony Davis is now (26). As they look to repeat with the Lakers, he admitted that it’s not the only similarity he sees between how he approached the summer and season after his first title, and how Davis is approaching this one.
“I want to win at the highest level, and AD wants to do the same. He wants to be one of the best, and we know that championships are the holy grail in this league. To be crowned a champion, to become multiple champions, that’s what it’s all about,” James said.
There have been plenty of signs that Davis may really try to chase greatness this season. For one, there was the 3-point rampage he went on against the Phoenix Suns in the Lakers’ final preseason game.
Six treys on seven attempts.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 19, 2020
AD does it all pic.twitter.com/EDYyuYz8DA
But there have been others, even before training camp began. Teammate Jared Dudley has been in Davis’ ear, even before the preseason started, about chasing the MVP award this year. And right after Davis signed his five-year, $190 million contract, he admitted that he’s addicted to championships now, a desire he says James helped nurture during their previous title run.
“I’m very motivated. I want to do it again. When we won the Western Conference Finals, LeBron said ‘Just wait until you win a championship and you hold that trophy.’ Your love for winning just grows, and ever since holding that trophy I just want to do it again. You want to hold that trophy over and over and over, you get addicted to winning,” Davis said then.
“I want that feeling again. I want to be able to hold that Larry O’Brien trophy again, and become a meme again where I’m crying and people are using it for everything,” Davis continued, laughing. “But that was a good meme! I’m ready to get started again and I’m ready to get with this group of guys, and get back to work to be able to hoist one of those trophies again.”
Fast forward to Friday, and as the Lakers get set to close out training camp and start a title defense that will be a marathon and a sprint that follows the shortest turnaround in James’ career, and in NBA history, James thinks Davis can achieve all of the goals he mentioned and more.
“He’s ready for that moment, his confidence is out the roof, so it’s up to us as his teammates to continue to help his confidence continue to soar, to protect him and to help him continue to tap into his prime that he’s growing into,” James said.
With James and Davis in Lakers uniforms until at least 2023, and James clearly ready to pass on everything he’s learned since his first title to his younger co-star, that prime looks brighter and brighter every day.