Anthony Davis Credits LeBron James For Taking Pressure Off Him After Joining Lakers
LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Lakers, 2024 NBA All-Star Game
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

When Anthony Davis was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers back in 2019, there was a lot of pressure placed upon him. The fact that Davis demanded the trade to go to the historic franchise and team with an all-time great like LeBron James meant that expectations for a championship were very high and immediate.

Davis had only a handful of playoff games under his belt and despite his obvious talent, there were questions on whether he could come through on the biggest stages. It was a lot placed on Davis and not only did he know it, but LeBron did as well.

But that is where the leadership of James comes through. During All-Star Weekend, Davis made an appearance on Sirius XM NBA Radio and spoke on when he first joined the Lakers. LeBron made it a point to let Davis know that the pressure was on him to deliver, not the big man:

“He’s been through everything in the league as long as he’s been playing. I think my first year (with the Lakers), we just kind of had the conversation just kind of talking like ‘Look, don’t come in here thinking the pressure is on you. It’s on me.’ He took all the pressure away from me so I was able to go out there and just play.”

The duo did just that in their first year together, winning an NBA Championship and putting the Lakers back atop the NBA mountain. But the ensuing years since that time has been filled with injuries, particularly to Davis. But the big man noted that LeBron again was in his ear motivating him through the frustrations:

“And then we had another conversation in the last two years, back-to-back years when the injuries happened and I was getting frustrated like ‘Man, why is it always me getting hurt?’ Things that I can’t really control. And he just said ‘Hey man, everything will work itself out. Come back stronger, come back healthier and let’s get this thing going.”

There are a lot of great players, but being a true leader is something completely different. LeBron understood what needed to be done from the moment Davis joined the Lakers and the two have worked together wonderfully.

James rightfully gets praise for a number of things he does exceptionally well, but perhaps his leadership and ability to uplift his teammates doesn’t get enough praise as it deserves.

Anthony Davis: Lakers win 2020 Championship with or without bubble

While they haven’t been able to get another one yet, LeBron James and Anthony Davis did lead the Lakers to the 2020 Championship inside the bubble and no one can take that away from them, even though many have tried to discredit it.

Davis called out the nonsense in a recent podcast appearance, noting that the Lakers had the best record in the West by a decent margin and had defeated the other two favorites, the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers, in back-to-back games in the days prior to the season being shut down.

The Lakers were a clear favorite already and for some to try and take away the accomplishment is just silly.

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