At the age of 28, Anthony Davis has accomplished almost everything an NBA player could hope for on the court: he’s won an Olympic gold medal, been named to multiple All-Star and All-NBA teams and, last year with the Los Angeles Lakers, he won his first-ever NBA championship.
And yet, theres this feeling that he’s only scratched the surface of his potential. That feeling is one that Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy shares, as he told Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson during a recent appearance on their show “All The Smoke”:
“AD is special, man. What he can do at seven feet? Dribble, pass, shoot, post up, handle ... Nah, man, he’s special. I don’t even think AD realizes how special he is. I think the great part about him is that he’s such a good dude, he’s got a great family. But I think AD has an opportunity to ... he’s an NBA MVP-caliber player. I’m talking about the way he can really dominate the game on both ends. Like he cleans up a lot of stuff, man. He’s just a special talent, man. They call him the unicorn.”
Lakers fans got to see just how special Davis can be last year in the postseason, when he averaged 27.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. Unfortunately, Davis wasn’t the same player in the postseason or the regular season this year.
Whether that was a result of him playing outside of the Orlando bubble, the position he played, the historically short offseason or the injuries that he had to manage over the course of the season, Davis wasn’t able to build on his dream debut season in Los Angeles this past season.
Hopefully, with time an appropriate amount of time to rest and do his usually offseason routine, Davis will come back stronger and show that he’s capable of being that MVP-caliber player that Handy and the Lakers believe he can be.