Lakers’ Anthony Davis on next season: “We’re the underdogs”
Los Angeles Lakers center Anthony Davis believes his team should embrace the underdog role throughout the 2022-23 season. This statement is hard to argue.
Last season, the Lakers finished 33-49 (.402) and 11th overall in the Western Conference. They failed to qualify for the play-in tournament, and LeBron James missed the playoffs for only the fourth time of his 19-year NBA career.
During NBA Media Week on Monday, Davis told reporters, “We’re treating this season like we have a chip on our shoulder. We’re the underdogs.”
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“I think every single day it continues to get better and better and better. I think it was well overdue for him to be a head coach. Glad to be a part of his journey, and gonna try to do some special things.”#LakersMediaDay | @bibigoUSA pic.twitter.com/6s0sBtp5cv
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 26, 2022
“Obviously, the world is looking to see what we do,” continued Davis. “But… they’re not talking about us, and that’s fine. You know, we’d rather be under the radar.”
When reporters asked him how he handles pressure each season with the Lakers, Davis responded, “I look at it the same as I was in New Orleans.”
“My first year here, I feel like I was kinda the focal point even then. For me, it’s just approaching it as any other season coming in. Just being myself. I think the more pressure you start to put on yourself, that’s when people start getting flustered and doing things they’re not used to doing.”
“For me, come in, play basketball. If I be who I am — the Anthony Davis I know I can be — the rest will take care of itself. I’m not putting any extra pressure on myself.”
Lakers star Anthony Davis on the 2022-23 season: “We’re the underdogs”
In the 2021-22 season, in 40 starts with the Lakers, the center averaged 23.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game. Davis dealt with a few injuries last season.
On December 17, 2021, in the Lakers’ 110-92 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Davis suffered an MCL sprain in his left knee during the third quarter. He missed 17 games before coming back in January.
Because of the MCL injury, Davis did not receive an All-Star selection. It was the first time since 2013 the Kentucky product was not selected to the NBA All-Star Game.
Additionally, on February 16, 2022, the center injured his right ankle in the team’s 106-101 win over the Utah Jazz. He ended up missing 18 more games.
When healthy, the 29-year-old is one of the best players in the NBA. Though, Davis has struggled to remain on the court the last couple of seasons.
During the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, Davis suffered a groin injury in Game 4 of the Lakers’ playoff loss against the Phoenix Suns. If he’s not careful this season, he might find himself on the trading block in 2023.
There comes a time when a team has to drop dead weight. On December 3, 2020, Davis signed a five-year deal with the Lakers worth up to $190 million. He’ll earn $37,980,720 for the 2022-23 season.