Eight months after his trade request from the New Orleans Pelicans, Anthony Davis finally made his much-anticipated debut for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019 NBA preseason.
In Davis’ first game, he set the tone for the Lakers as he finished with 22 points (9-of-16 shooting from the field) and 10 rebounds in just 18 minutes at the Chase Center.
As the Pelicans did not play Davis much to conclude the 2018-19 NBA season, he was just ‘ready’ to play again.
“I was just ready to get back on the floor again. I haven’t played in a while, so I was just happy to get on the floor and play basketball.”
Davis also discussed what it was like to wear a Lakers uniform for the first time as they reportedly were on a short list of long-term trade destinations for him back in January:
“I kinda got that out of the way the first day of training camp. When I step on the floor, I want to win, so I say it was fun just to get back on the floor. Obviously, it’s always fun to put a uniform on especially for a franchise like this.”
It was quite a debut for Davis as he gave a preview of why the Lakers traded their entire young core except for Kyle Kuzma and multiple draft picks for him back in July.
With Davis, LeBron James, and strong role players, the Lakers are championship contenders if they are able to stay healthy. As Kuzma is dealing with a stress reaction in his left foot, the immediate concern is them building chemistry.
While the time difference will be a concern, the team’s trip to China should provide plenty of time to further establish this. However, in just their first preseason game, the Lakers played with a togetherness, which was a pleasant surprise.
As Davis continues to get comfortable in Los Angeles, there is great optimism they can ultimately reach their goals.