It hasn’t been the best week for Anthony Davis, to say the least. The eight-time All-Star hurt his groin in Game 4 against the Phoenix Suns, and he wasn’t able to suit up for a pivotal Game 5 on Tuesday night. His Los Angeles Lakers proceeded to get laughed off the floor in a 30-point drubbing and are now one loss away from elimination.
As if that wasn’t enough for Davis, he also inherited an embarrassing nickname from Charles Barkley that quickly went viral on social media. If he isn’t able to play for the rest of the series and the reigning NBA champs are bounced in the first round of the playoffs, Davis will forever be known as his new moniker: Street Clothes.
Anthony Davis watched from the bench as the Lakers got stomped in Game 5
The Lakers are a perennial NBA title contender when Davis and LeBron James are both healthy. But when either one of them sits due to injury, LA looks more like a fringe playoff team than a threat to repeat.
Heading into Game 4 against the Suns on Sunday, the Lakers were confident they could take a stranglehold on the first-round series. A win at Staples Center would give them a 3-1 lead over an inexperienced Phoenix squad, and they likely would’ve been able to cruise to the next round. But with less than a minute left in the first half, Davis went to the ground holding his groin after a missed layup attempt. He was unable to return to the game, and the Lakers went on to lose, 100-92.
Davis missed Game 5 due to the same groin issue, and the Lakers didn’t stand a chance without him. LA was jumped from the opening tip and went on to lose the all-important game by 30 points.
All Davis could do was watch from the bench in jeans and a T-shirt, which prompted a hilarious reaction from Barkley in the TNT studio.
Charles Barkley gives Davis an embarrassing new nickname
At halftime of the Lakers-Suns game, when LA was already in a 30-point hole, the Inside the NBA crew (with Draymond Green filling in for Kenny Smith) all gave their takes on the first-round series. Barkley firmly stated that the Lakers have no chance of surviving against the Suns without Davis on the court. He even gave the star forward an impromptu nickname in the process.
“The Lakers can’t win this series,” Barkley said. “Forget about the championship. They can’t win this series without ‘Street Clothes.'”
A stunned silence fell upon the TNT set.
“You want to explain that?” Ernie Johnson posed.
“I call him Anthony ‘Street Clothes’ Davis, ’cause he’s always in street clothes,” Barkley responded.
“Street clothes” goes viral on social media
Was “Street Clothes” some ingenious nickname Barkley spent hours crafting for a big unveil on TV? Of course not. It was clearly a spur-of-the-moment move by the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer, but that’s what makes the name so effortlessly hilarious.
Almost immediately after Barkley uttered the nickname on Inside the NBA, “Street Clothes” went viral on social media. The term started trending on Twitter even as Damian Lillard was going scorched earth in a double-overtime game against the Denver Nuggets.
Davis better hope the Lakers survive this playoff series. And more, he better hope he’s not sitting on the bench in street clothes when they do, or that nickname will follow him around like a shadow for the rest of his career.