As was expected to be the case, the Los Angeles Lakers have their names all over the 2021-22 edition of the NBA’s annual GM Survey. LeBron James was the most frequent name listed, but Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Frank Vogel all find themselves named as well.
Every year, the GM Survey takes a random sampling of the 30 NBA general managers on a variety of topics, including MVP, best defender, best offseason moves and many others. And while it’s not meant to be a serious evaluation of the league, it often becomes bulletin board material for many of the NBA’s top teams and players.
This year, while Vogel, Westbrook and Davis are named several times, they also have plenty of reasons to feel disrespected. Especially Davis, who is relatively absent from this list despite being a unanimous top-10 player.
Davis received no votes to win the 2021-22 MVP award. He was also listed under “also receiving votes” for best player to start a franchise with. He was not voted as one of the best power forwards and was tied for third in the best center category, receiving just 7% of the vote. Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo were ahead of him or tied.
Davis was again under “also receiving votes” for best defensive player despite being second place in Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2019-20. He got just 10% of the vote — third place — for best interior defender. His name was not mentioned anywhere else.
Westbrook also has some right to be upset. He was named the third-fastest player with the ball, second in biggest impact with a new team and was the No. 1 surprising move of the offseason. He was not named in any other category besides “also receiving votes” for best passer.
Vogel is another Lakers figure whose name likely didn’t show up as much as it should. The Lakers coach was ranked No. 4 for best defensive schemes and was in the “also receiving votes” category for best in-game adjustments. He did not receive a single vote otherwise.
If the Lakers do want to find motivation out of the GM Survey, it’s likely to start with these three. Davis is one of the best players in basketball, but you’d hardly know it based on this.
The Lakers have done an exceptional job looking for things to be upset or motivated by, so it’s only a matter of time before this becomes a topic of conversation.
Davis says Lakers are way behind on preparation
After the Lakers suffered a blowout preseason loss to the Brooklyn Nets, Davis — who played in just the first quarter — said that L.A. was way behind on their preparation. He listed a handful of things the team can improve on before the regular season starts and is confident they’ll get to where they need to be shortly.
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