The Los Angeles Lakers have a great history of big men throughout their past. From George Mikan to Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Shaquille O’Neal, Pau Gasol and now on to Anthony Davis, the Purple and Gold have housed the greatest big men the NBA has ever seen.
Davis is the latest and has already made a major impact helping the Lakers to win the 2020 NBA Championship and proving himself as one of the most versatile bigs the league has ever seen. He is much different than any other big the Lakers have had before, but that doesn’t mean the respect isn’t there as Abdul-Jabbar is a huge fan.
According to Sanjesh Singh of USA Today, Abdul-Jabbar listed Davis as his favorite current big man in the NBA:
“I have a favorite big man and he happens to play in LA and wear number 3, Anthony Davis,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “I think he’s the most talented. Defensively in the paint, he’s awesome. Offensively in the paint, he’s awesome, and then he can go out on the perimeter and be a problem. He can hit the 3 consistently or the mid- and long-range jumper. So, I would have to go with him.”
When healthy, Davis is arguably the most talented big man in the NBA and though his first season in L.A. was a success, his second saw him deal with the most serious injury of his career. The competition of top big man in the league today is stiff, and while Abdul-Jabbar still sticks with Davis, he admits that Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic are great as well:
“But, as you said, Embiid … he’s tough, Jokić … he’s tough,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “I haven’t seen them play a lot. I might change my mind if I get a chance to see them play more, but I’m going to have to go with AD because I’m a Laker through and through and he’s proved it so far.”
Jokic, of course, won the 2021 NBA MVP Award while Embiid was a finalist and many believe could have won the award had it not been for injuries derailing his season as well.
Regardless of who you may have at the top of the big man list, it is clear that the talent pool for bigs in the NBA is on the incline right now. There is no doubt that Davis will put in all the work in the offseason in order to claim his spot at the top of the list where another Lakers legend already has him.
Davis featured in 2021-22 NBA MVP odds list
If Davis does have a season of that nature that establishes him as the NBA’s best big man, it could lead to an MVP run and some fortunate bettors could cash in.
Davis was featured among the list of NBA MVP favorites betting odds though he was quite a ways down the list. At 28-to-1 odds, Davis could net quite a big return should he make that kind of run. Luka Doncic and Kevin Durant are the co-favorites at 4-to-1 while Davis’ teammate LeBron James currently has 9-to-1 odds.
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