Even though it was reported a long time ago, the Los Angeles Lakers finally made the Anthony Davis trade official.
While they missed out on Kawhi Leonard, general manager Rob Pelinka still pulled one of the biggest moves of the offseason and he had extremely high praise for the franchise’s newest superstar.
“There is no more complete basketball player in the game. There is nothing he can’t do,” Pelinka said during Davis’ introductory press conference. “He can shoot, he can make plays, he can defend 1 to 5, he can protect the rim, he can handle the ball. His dedication to his craft is unparalleled.”
Of course, the Lakers are taking somewhat of a risk with Davis as he will be a free agent following the 2019-20 NBA season. It is expected that Davis will re-sign with the Lakers, and Pelinka spoke as if that is basically a foregone conclusion.
“To sit here next to him and to think he’s going to be on our team, going to be a pillar of this franchise for many years, it’s something we’re incredibly proud of. Not just for what he brings as a basketball player but who he is as a person. He’s a person of excellence and he’s a person that carries himself in a way where actions speak louder than words.”
Pelinka speaking any other way about Davis’ future with the Lakers would have been a concern. Davis pushed to be traded to the Lakers and got his wish, teaming with one of the top players in the NBA in LeBron James. He now has the opportunity to compete for championships for years to come.
As Pelinka spoke on, Davis is everything a team could want in a player off the court, but that also rings true for what he represents off the court as person.
“I think the thing the front office is most proud of with our two superstars, LeBron and A.D., they’re both incredibly selfless people that are all about the team and team-first mentality,” Pelinka said.
“I remember the first day Anthony came into the facility, Jeanie and I were talking about how grateful he was. He was just walking around looking at this amazing facility. You could just see his appreciation and gratitude for a place like this. That’s what we want to be identified as, is a team-first mindset and mentality. Guys that sacrifice for the betterment of the team, guys that are grateful and appreciate things in life. We think LeBron, A.D. and the rest of the roster really stand for that.”
In general, the belief is that a team takes on the overall personality and mindset of their leaders and All-Star players. The Lakers taking on that mindset of Davis and James would be the ideal outcome both on and off the court.