Since his arrival in Los Angeles, the expectation for Anthony Davis has been to take over the future of the franchise from the hands of LeBron James. While he looked destined for that fate after the bubble in the 2019-20 season, back-to-back injury-riddled seasons have completely derailed that fortune.
Now, heading into his fourth season in LA, Davis has been outspoken about being ready to take that mantle once again. In an interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Davis spoke about his desire to be The Guy after a terrific summer of work.
Those close to Davis shared with Yahoo Sports that the forward had his best summer of training. There has always been chatter about Davis leading the Lakers for a full season, but those close to him believe he has positioned himself to do so this year.
“All I can do is lead by my actions,” Davis told Yahoo Sports. “I’m excited for this challenge and what’s ahead. I think we have a great group of guys to get the job done. It’s now about putting in the work.”
Words are only worth so much — and it’s not the first time we’ve heard about a motivated AD — and actions have to matter at some point. For AD, we’re probably well past that point. Until AD can prove over multiple seasons that he can be The Guy, it’ll be hard for Lakers fans to view him as such. There’s a level of consistency that is required that AD hasn’t shown simply by not being available.
The good news is that he spoke after the Lakers first practice on Wednesday about his biggest goal this season.
“I want to be able to play all 82,” AD said about this season— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) September 28, 2022
I would imagine there aren’t many Laker fans that want him to play 82 games, but the sentiment could be there. AD being available for all 82 games would be a positive while still being rested a fair amount as well.
For now, though, it’s a lot of lip service until he can prove his health, availability and level of play all line up to make him The Guy moving forward.