But neither Davis nor the Lakers have been very successful lately. The Lakers won only 33 games last season, missing the playoffs and firing Frank Vogel as a consequence.
Davis, on the other hand, played only 40 of 82 games due to injuries. Even though he is great when healthy, his inability to play has been an issue.
Anthony Davis’ injury history halting his ability to be great
Ever since he entered the league as the No. 1 pick in 2012, Anthony Davis has been considered one of the best young players. After making the All-Rookie team, the big man took off in the second year, averaging 20.8 points, 10.0 rebounds and a league-leading 2.8 blocks per game.
Davis has established himself as one of the league’s most amazing scorers and shot blockers. The big man was traded to the Lakers in 2019 and won a championship ring in 2020.
Analyst Shannon Sharpe claimed that Davis could have been one of the all-time greats, but that he stopped improving after winning the championship. On “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed,” Sharpe said:
“All of a sudden he got that ring, now he’s gonna be back to square one. It takes a special type of somebody to do what LeBron (James), to do what (Michael) Jordan, to do what Kobe (Bryant) … Everybody is not wired like that. Anthony Davis is not wired like that.”
Sharpe compared Davis to Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, a two-time MVP. But unlike Davis, Giannis continues to improve and he wants to be one of the best players of all time.
“He should’ve been Giannis before Giannis. Six-foot-ten, can shoot, can rebound, can play it all. … Why isn’t he? Because it doesn’t mean enough to him. That’s it.”
Will Anthony Davis be better next year?
Anthony Davis has missed a lot of time during his three-year tenure with the LA Lakers, appearing in only 76 games in the past two seasons.
The Lakers big man is a difference maker when he’s on the floor. However, he keeps getting injured. LeBron James, at 37, had to carry the team last season.
New Lakers coach Darvin Ham’s goal is to make the team better. Ham said the focus will be on defense, and that’s where Davis can help. The question is whether Davis can stay healthy or not. The Lakers can have a deep playoff run if he appears in more than 60 games and is available in the postseason. Unfortunately, this may be an impossible mission for him.