The Lakers have had many dominant big men with many remarkable performances throughout their long, storied history. The rafters in the Crypto.com Center are littered with names of the league’s all-time great centers from Wilt Chamberlain to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal with many in between.
Few, if any, have had a performance like the one Anthony Davis had on Tuesday. And it’s games like Tuesday’s against the Warriors in an important that makes LeBron James think he’ll one day have his jersey retired by the franchise.
Following the Lakers’ Game 1 win over the Warriors, LeBron discussed Davis’ 30-point, 23-rebound, 5-assist, 4-block performance.
“The Lakers franchise over the years, over the course of their existence, has always had dominant big men, dominant guys that have been a force at the rim,” James said. “It’s why their jerseys are in the rafters and AD will be up there when he’s done playing. The No. 3 will be up in the rafters and he continues to show why he’s one of the best players that we have in the league. For us, it’s a treat for us to be able to have such a dynamic player that can not only go out and get you 30 and 20 but also command the paint, defensively can switch out to guards and also give you five assists as well.”
Realistically, considering the role he played in helping the Lakers earn the title inside the bubble, Anthony Davis was almost certainly getting his jersey retired from that moment on, no matter how the rest of his career played out.
Injuries have certainly derailed multiple regular seasons since then, but Davis has finally found, or bested, that bubble form once again this postseason. He’s been playing at an elite level, perhaps at the highest level of any player in the NBA during the playoffs, and is guiding the Lakers to another playoff run.
And all of that is more than enough at this point to earn him the honor of having his jersey retired. LeBron told no lies in his answer, and both he and Davis will one day be staring up at their jerseys hanging amongst those greats.
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