The Lakers just can’t seem to gain any traction this season. Seemingly every encouraging win is followed by an equally frustrating defeat. A win against the Golden State Warriors on the road was followed up on Monday by being on the wrong end of a flame-throwing Blazers team that blitzed their way to a win.
One of the central figures of those games, and the Lakers over recent weeks, has been Anthony Davis. Statistically, it’s been rather ho-hum from the big man in the last two contests. He struggled offensively against the Warriors but made a number of big defensive plays. On Monday, he had 19 points and 20 rebounds — albeit on another inefficient night offensively — but there was only so much he could do when Portland couldn’t miss from three.
Dating back further than those two games, though, and it’s pretty clear through a number of clues that Davis seems to be playing through something perhaps off the court right now. The moment everyone will point to came in last Tuesday’s game when LeBron James broke the scoring record and Davis was the only teammate not to jump off the bench to celebrate.
No one on the team seemed particularly bothered by it. Davis explained it as him being focused, and frustrated, on the game itself which the Lakers were losing, a fair assessment, and was adamant it had nothing to do with his relationship with LeBron, which was pretty baseless speculation from fans.
Head coach Darvin Ham defended Davis as well prior to the team’s game against the Bucks, noting that what was being reported wasn’t true but stopping at that.
Darvin Ham on reports circulating about Anthony Davis and his body language on Tuesday: “I’ll just say what’s being reported is not the case and I’ll leave it there.”— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) February 10, 2023
Without doing any baseless speculation of my own, it felt like something was just off with Davis. Fast forward back to Monday now and AD deactivated his Instagram account.
Anthony Davis has deactivated his Instagram account. pic.twitter.com/iu54DPrtrw— NBA•Fan (@Prime_LeBron23) February 14, 2023
While some activate and deactivate and scrub their Instagrams and you have to constantly monitor their accounts to notice changes, that has never applied to AD. His social media presence hasn’t ever been big necessarily, especially in comparison to LeBron James, for example, but it has been consistently there even in the background.
We all know what a drain social media can be, and that’s just for everyday people who aren’t celebrities or athletes. The barrage of unjustified and unwarranted hate and criticism from fans can wear anyone down. It’s been a long and frustrating season for the Lakers already, so I can only imagine the fools on social media and how they’re treating the players.
All I would say is that I hope AD is alright off the court. From the outside looking in, it has looked like something was off. Perhaps, and hopefully, the upcoming All-Star break will offer some time for him to get away and get his mind right.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.