With the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2020-21 season ending early after a first-round postseason exit, all eyes turn toward their offseason.
Over half the roster is entering free agency and the front office will need to figure out how they want to retool around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. In the meantime, getting the stars back to 100 percent will be the primary focus of the offseason as injuries derailed their chances to repeat as NBA champions.
James has already confirmed he will not be playing for Team USA in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in order to focus on resting and according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic Davis will follow his lead:
There are two other big names whose NBA team lost in the playoffs, perhaps you’ve heard of them? LeBron James and Anthony Davis are officially on vacation, after the Lakers lost in six games to Phoenix, but neither LeBron nor Davis is expected to play for Team USA due to their terrible seasons of injuries, according to a source close to both players.
Davis suffered several injuries throughout the course of the year and that continued into the first round against the Phoenix Suns as he hyperextended his knee in Game 3 and subsequently strained his groin in Game 4. The big man was forced to miss Game 5, and although he tried to gut it out in Game 6, he was pulled after only playing a few minutes in the first quarter.
Getting his body right is the right choice for Davis even if it comes at the cost of winning a second Olympic gold medal. The bright side is that Davis is only 28 years old and will likely get another chance to suit up for Team USA in the future when he is healthy.
Davis reflects on injury-riddled 2020-21 season
Davis is an NBA champion with nothing to prove, but did admit that he played through injuries because he felt the responsibility to come through for the Lakers. “My job is to play basketball and be out there on the floor as much as I can,” Davis said. “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 anything to anyone that’s not in this locker room or in this organization. I’m not going to and I don’t have to.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!