The Lakers currently only have the ninth-best odds to win the 2023 NBA championship, according to our friends over at DraftKings, but ever since the trade deadline, it’s been clear that Anthony Davis and the rest of the team both believe and hope their chances are a bit better than that.
In an exclusive interview with Dave McMenamin of ESPN, not only did Davis tell the veteran insider that he is confident in the team’s ability to win it all this year — “I like our chance against anybody to be honest,” Davis said — he made it clear that the historical significance of raising another banner isn’t lost on him.
While telling McMenamin about his full back tattoo depicting his entire basketball life starting from his backyard hoop to now, Davis said that helping the Lakers pass Boston in total championships drives him, and is an achievement he wants to both carry and ink on his prodigious shoulders:
He wants to add to the back piece by continuing his dream with the Lakers. He has two more years on his contract — with a player option for the second season — aligning his deal with James’.
“To be a part of the legacy already of winning a championship, you want to win more,” Davis said. “We’re tied with Boston at 17, it’s like, I want to be part of the one that makes it 18 and this franchise No. 1.”
New story: Anthony Davis opened up to ESPN about the challenges of this season, his relationship with LeBron, his belief in the current roster and his thoughts on his future in L.A. https://t.co/njemw13TAJ— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 24, 2023
That’s not the only legacy achievement driving Davis right now. While it feels likely his jersey would eventually be retired by the Lakers even if his career ended today for the way he forced his way to Los Angeles to immediately help them raise banner No. 17 — the team typically retires the jerseys of surefire Hall of Famers who help drive them to titles — Davis reiterated to McMenamin that he wants to make sure he puts his own uniform up there, too, as he continues to build his Lakers legacy:
Being in the arena to see Pau Gasol get his No. 16 raised to the rafters last month made Davis think about having his No. 3 up there someday, too.
“I love being in L.A. My family loves it. I love playing for the Lakers,” Davis said. “When the time is up, honestly, I’m not sure the direction the team wants to go or who knows the conversation we’ll have. But when the time comes, we’ll sit down, have those conversations and go from there.”
Dave’s whole profile on Davis is worth a read in its entirety, not only for all of the exclusive insight from Davis on how he views this year’s team, his Lakers career and more, but also for the very sweet story about his daughter, Nala, and how she helped him find his footing after his most recent injury. All Lakers fans should definitely take some time and check it out.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.