In a ‘what have you done for me lately?’ world, some have questioned Anthony Davis‘ place among the best players after the Los Angeles Lakers-New Orleans Pelicans trade.
Despite Davis being only 26-years-old and viewed as the next face of the NBA after LeBron James, the trade request following seven seasons and not playing most of the second half of the 2018-19 NBA season with the Pelicans apparently made some forget about the generational talent.
After nine months of drama, Davis made his Lakers debut in their 2019 NBA preseason opener against the Golden State Warriors where he finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
After Davis’ double-double performance in just 18 minutes, LeBron James thought it was a ‘good start,’ via Lakers:
“A.D.’s A.D. I thought he was great from the beginning of the game. Just his offset on the offensive end just to be able to get us extra possessions with rebounding, knocking down shots. I think he had like five dunks in the first half and communication on the defensive end. He’s a very cerebral player. It was a good start for him.”
Head coach Frank Vogel perfectly described Davis’ first game in the purple and gold, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“He’s a monster. It’s going to be very difficult to slow him down with what we had around him. I’m excited about what he’s going to do and Lakers fans should be, too.”
Although it was ‘just a preseason game,’ Davis showed the Lakers and fans a small preview of what they can expect for the 2019-20 season. Highlighted by Davis’ five dunks in the first half, he completely dominated Draymond Green.
While some are still conflicted about trading the entire young core except for Kyle Kuzma and multiple draft picks for Davis back in July, there is no denying how special he is as he enters the prime years of his career in Los Angeles.
With Davis controlling both ends of the court, he has James and a strong supporting cast. And for the first time in Davis’ career, he is playing for a true championship contender.
As Davis and the Lakers continue to build chemistry, there is great optimism moving forward after their first preseason game and upcoming trip to China against the Brooklyn Nets.