Many assumed James would take the lead role as he has always done throughout his career, but he surprised many by saying that everything would run through Davis.
Even after James’ comments, some wondered if that would actually be the case, but the duo has worked extremely well together and — true to his word — he has taken on the facilitator role as his new teammate has thrived as the team’s primary offensive option.
This wasn’t something James said just to appease the public either as Davis revealed in an interview with Shams Charania of Stadium that he told him personally that would be the case and he knew it would be a fun season after that:
Anthony Davis on believing he would split Lakers option No. 1 duties 50-50 — before LeBron James delivered a message to him. Full @AntDavis23 sit-down for @Stadium coming up. pic.twitter.com/H98DeU2TEL
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 13, 2019
While there is still plenty of room to grow for the Lakers duo, there is no doubt the chemistry between the two is much further along than anyone anticipated it would be at this stage. James still controls the ball much of the time and is the primary ballhandler, but it is Davis who leads the team in scoring and rebounding.
As Davis said, the spotlight in Los Angeles with the Lakers is unlike anything else this league has to offer so they have to be able to have fun with it. The pressure on this Lakers team is real and so far, both Davis and James have thrived under it.
Of course, it isn’t as if James has taken some massive step back on the offense. He is still averaging 23.9 points per game but has simply upped his assist numbers to a league leading 11.1 per game. Even if James isn’t scoring, he’s still producing offense for the Lakers at a high level.
However, the fact that James has been clear it is Davis who is the primary offensive weapon and held true to that word shows the place that he is at in his career.
Everything is about winning a championship and James realizes that Davis being at his best is the only way that is possible. Now the pressure will be on Davis to realize that potential and show the world he is capable at the highest level.