Anthony Davis Takes Blame For Lakers’ Early Playoff Exit After Not Being Able To Stay Healthy
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 03: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers grimaces next to the Lakers bench before leaving the game with an injury against the Phoenix Suns in the first quarter during game six of the Western Conference first round series at Staples Center on June 03, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

Many fans had hope once it was announced that Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis would be suiting up for Game 6 of the team’s first round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns. With the team facing elimination, Davis was determined to try and play through the pain, but it just wasn’t possible.

It was apparent early on that Davis was nowhere near 100% on the court and the Suns began targeting him defensively to test out his groin. Just a few minutes into the contest Davis re-aggravated the injury and fell to the ground.

He would slowly limp back to the locker room before re-joining the team on the bench for the rest of the game, but never took the floor again as the Lakers saw their season end with a 113-100 loss to the Suns.

A return to the court this quickly for someone dealing with a groin strain is basically impossible and Davis admitted after the game that he just wanted to try and be there for his team and help in any way he can even though he wasn’t actually feelping healthy enough to play.

Davis took the blame for the season coming to an end, stating that he believes the Lakers could’ve repeated if they, and him specifically, were able to stay healthy.

“I think so. When we were healthy, everyone was available. We have seen the type of team we can be. Before my injury, we were 21-6. We were rolling. We had the pieces, we just couldn’t stay healthy. A lot of that was on me. We have a main guy that’s not on the floor. Then you have another guy. Your two main guys not able to participate. It’s just tough for an extensive amount of time.

“That’s all it really was. I think the team that we built this summer. We had the right pieces to do so. Health just played a big factor.”

Davis’ heart can not be questioned and it was truly unfortunate that his body betrayed him this season. Throughout his career, Davis has dealt with numerous minor injuries, but rarely anything too serious before this season. The calf and Achilles issue caused him to miss half of the season, and once he seemed to get back into form, he suffered a groin strain at the most crucial time in the playoffs.

There will be a ton of focus on his injury issues and whether or not he can be relied upon, but this also showed the type of teammate he is and how much winning means to him. Returning wasn’t about his own success, but that of the team and Davis wanted to do anything possible to be there for them.

Davis’ talent can not be questioned and his heart should not be either. Health, as is the case with any athlete, will ultimately be the most important factor in his career going forward, but there is no doubt he will always do anything possible to be out on the court helping his team get a victory.

Davis doesn’t feel he has anything to prove

Even with the short offseason, the Lakers entered the season as clear championship favorites especially after the moves made in the offseason. But the team was never able to stay healthy and Davis believes that is what ultimately cost the team the chance to repeat as champions.

Despite that though, he doesn’t feel he has anything left to prove after winning it all last year.

“No. I don’t. I don’t have to prove nothing to anyone and I’m not going to prove anything to anyone. It doesn’t matter to me. Things that everyone is saying, it comes with the territory. When you’re a player of my caliber, guys are going to expect things from you and say things from you. … I know what I go through and what I play through and what my body goes through. The guys in the locker room know. The whole coaching staff knows, so I don’t need to prove anything to anyone, especially outside of this Lakers organization and I’m not going to prove anything to anyone.

“My job is to play basketball and be out there on the floor as much as I can. I think the Achilles injury is obviously nothing I’m going to play with. It’s such a big injury and then what happened in Game 3 was just a freak accident. Hyperextension of the knee. Played through that through the rest of the game and then come Game 4, a play that happened with the groin because of the knee. Just try to play through it and do what you can. That’s what I did and guys in the locker room know, but my job is not to prove any thing to anyone that’s not in this locker room or in this organization. I’m not going to and I don’t have to.”

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