Dennis Schroder Notices Anthony Davis’ Leadership Growth Since First Stint With Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder has made the most of his second stint wearing the purple and gold.

He had a tough end to his year with the Lakers in 2021, catching coronavirus (COVID-19) and then playing poorly in the playoffs as the Phoenix Suns eliminated L.A. in six games. It was a year to forget for Schroder and a return to the Lakers seemed out of the picture.

But, the hiring of head coach Darvin Ham opened the door for Schroder to come back. Ham and Schroder have a tight relationship dating back to their time with the Atlanta Hawks. Schroder even told Ham he wanted to ‘make it right’ with the Lakers in his second stint and so far he’s done that. The guard is averaging 12 points per game and has had key moments for the Lakers.

The biggest difference for Schroder this time around isn’t related to him, but more so related to
Anthony Davis’ leadership. He shared just how different Davis is now than before, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:

“It’s better than the first time I was here,” Schroder told ESPN. “More vocal. … I mean, I didn’t know him the first time I was here. But this year he’s doing a great job. I think he learned from LeBron as well. Talking to his teammates, especially on the defensive end. It’s a big growth from that first year to this year.”

Davis has had the opportunity to learn from strong leaders such as LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, among others, throughout his career. His leadership skills continue to grow, a positive sign for the Lakers as Davis has often taken a heavier load with LeBron nearing year 21.

The assessment from Schroder also comes at a crucial time in Davis’ career — he turned 30 earlier this month and is near the end of his 11th year in the NBA. This isn’t the same unibrow kid from the University of Kentucky. Davis was expected to evolve into a leader on and off the court for the Lakers and it seems he is beginning to do exactly that.

D’Angelo Russell admits L.A. doesn’t feel like home yet due to pending free agency

Speaking of players in their second stint as a Laker, D’Angelo Russell continues to be a key part of the Lakers’ playoff push. After missing two weeks with an ankle injury, Russell’s had strong performances for L.A.

He is a free agent this summer and there seems to be mutual interest for him to stay a Laker. However, Russell said that he won’t feel comfortable until the deal is signed and that L.A. doesn’t feel like home just yet.

“Not yet,” he admitted. “I’m a free agent this summer. I’ve been traded midseason, so to get comfortable somewhere, it’s not easy for me. So, until I am, I won’t be comfortable. I won’t feel like it’s home.”

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