In addition to another win, the talking point following the contest was Kobe Bryant making an appearance at Staples Center.
Bryant is one of the most beloved and idolized Lakers players of all-time and the crowd let him know it as they showered him with cheers and a standing ovation. Bryant got to witness their best team since he was leading them to back-to-back championships and the hope is the pairing of Davis and LeBron James can get back to that level.
Davis understands the pressure of living up to that championship standard and thought it was great to see Bryant in the crowd.
“I mean, it’s great. I never thought I’d be playing here for such an iconic franchise and I have the opportunity to do something great here,” Davis said in the locker room following the win. “Obviously not to compare it to what Kobe has done here, but I just try to write my own story. Take it game by game, year by year, and just keep building.”
Obviously, Bryant won five championships in the purple and gold so that is quite a standard to live up to. Trying to compare Davis to that at this stage of his Lakers career is unfair and he is right to simply focus on writing his own chapter in Los Angeles.
That being said, Davis tries to focus on the game when on the floor, not on the outside things.
“Nah, I don’t really think about too much when I’m playing the game of basketball,” Davis noted. “But like I said, what he’s been able to do for this franchise and to see him sitting courtside just makes you think can you do the same thing? But during the game, I try to go out there and play.”
Playing for the Lakers, the comparisons are always going to come. For Davis, it might not be so much to the Bryants, but rather centers like Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Wilt Chamberlain.
Regardless of the players who happen to be at courtside on that night, the overarching theme is that success and championships are expected with the Lakers.
While Davis is wise to not focus on those things while on the court, the standard is there and the comparisons are inevitable.