The Los Angeles Lakers‘ busy offseason has created a significant championship buzz around the franchise. Much of the chatter has focused on the revamped roster’s fit alongside each other with a veteran-laden roster. All that took only one practice for Anthony Davis to notice one promising
Lakers retool the roster around the star talent
After a disappointing first-round playoff exit, the Lakers spent the offseason revamping the roster.
Los Angeles added star point guard Russell Westbrook while filling the supporting cast with proven veterans. The dialogue shifted toward a promising future ahead, quickly becoming pegged as one of the betting odds favorites to win the 2022 NBA title.
As the Lakers move through training camp, star big man Anthony Davis needed only one practice to notice only telling aspect of the retooled roster around him and LeBron James.
Anthony Davis needed only 1 practice to see his Lakers teammates embracing the key element to compete for an NBA title
Over the last few months, the Lakers’ reconstructed roster has drawn plenty of scrutiny concerning the path toward contending for an NBA title.
Much of the focus centers on the roster’s collective age as the league’s oldest team. However, the players shifted the dialogue to the individual sacrifices necessary to bring the most of their talent. After the team’s first official practice on Wednesday, Davis voiced he’s quickly noticed his teammates already embracing that unselfish mentality.
“We passed up a lot of shots, you know, to find the next guy. And that might be over-sacrificing, but we’re trying to make the right plays,” Davis said. “I don’t think anyone on this team has an ego, no one on this team is trying to be selfish and it looks good on the floor for the first day.”
It’s more than likely that many of the players are trying to overemphasize sacrificing for the betterment of the team. However, it’s an encouraging sign to see the roster collectively take that approach. Beyond all that, Davis was most impressed by the team’s worth ethic and commitment to playing unselfishly.
“Guys are doing the right thing and making the right plays and, most importantly, guys are coming to work. This is a great first couple hours of practice, and I think sacrificing is going to be huge for us,” Davis said. “We talked about it yesterday, we talked about it this morning and it showed in the first practice.”
The Lakers hold a long path ahead but are setting the building blocks toward a bright future.
Anthony Davis will be key to the Lakers’ NBA title contention
As much as the Lakers will need the roster to collectively embrace the team-first mentality, Davis is the centerpiece.
The 28-year-old anchors Los Angeles’ game plan due to his ability to anchor both ends of the floor. When healthy, he’s proven to be a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate as an elite rim protector while holding the ability to defend multiple positions.
Meanwhile, his transition to playing more at the center position this upcoming season opens up more offensive opportunities for himself and his teammates. He also took a renewed approach with his body over the offseason, altering his workout regimen by hiring a new trainer.
“It’s not just me, all of us feel great,” Davis said. “We feel good. Flying up and down the floor whereas we kind of took it slow last year because we had that short offseason. Me personally, I feel great. The body feels great. I’m ready to go.”
The biggest concern around Davis will remain his health as it’s the only detractor that’s nagged him throughout his career. If he can avoid injuries, the Lakers will push toward contending for the NBA title.