The Los Angeles Lakers ventured through a busy offseason to revamp the roster around its star talent. The team’s efforts further underline Anthony Davis as the most prominent focal point in guiding the Lakers to vie for another NBA title. Before Los Angeles begins that quest, Hall of Famer James Worthy voiced a stern message toward the eight-time All-Star.
Anthony Davis experiences difficult 2020-21 season
The Lakers entered the 2020-21 campaign after the shortest offseason for a championship-winning team.
The brief time off quickly took a physical toll on Los Angeles, especially regarding Davis‘ health. In February, he experienced a calf injury related to his Achilles, forcing him to miss three months.
Davis returned for the final two weeks of the regular season but suffered a setback in the first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns. The 28-year-old suffered a strained quad injury in Game 4, which he attempted to play through in Game 6 but reaggravated only five minutes into the contest.
The situation led Davis through a crucial offseason where he’s put his health first, changing his trainer and workout regimen. However, one aspect remains that guided a former Lakers great to recently verbally blast the star big man.
Lakers Legend James Worthy sends firm message targeting Anthony Davis’ unwillingness to make a necessary adjustment: ‘I don’t know what the problem is’
Through Davis‘ first two seasons with the Lakers, he firmly established himself as the driving engine to the franchise’s success.
However, the star big man has shown a reluctance to embrace playing more minutes at center due to the physical wear and tear. Davis’ pushback has led former Lakers great James Worthy to air his frustration.
“I’ve never been one of those players to say ‘I don’t wanna play three, I wanna play four. I wanna play,” Worthy said via Spectrum SportsNet. “I don’t know what the problem is, maybe who he defends or where he is on the floor. I think the five is a good spot for him. Because other fives don’t have a shot at guarding him.
“You want to make opponents make adjustments. Him at the five shooting three is going to pull Gobert out and they’re going to have to put somebody small on him and he can take advantage of that. I think he needs to look at what position best suits the team and what position best suits how they wanna play before he just says ‘Ahh, one or the other.’”
Davis is a matchup nightmare for opposing centers due to his versatile skill set. As Worthy pointed out, the eight-time All-Star can stretch the floor with his shooting, creating unique scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates.
He’s proven to significantly impact the game when he slides over to play center, especially during the playoffs. However, it appears he’s embracing that increased responsibility next season as various reports indicate he will take more minutes at the position, while LeBron James will play more at power forward.
Time will tell if Davis will finally embrace what Lakers fans want to see from the star big man.
Lakers’ NBA title aspiration hinge on star power
After a disappointing early playoff exit, the Lakers spent the offseason revamping the roster around its star power.
Los Angeles added proven shooters and defenders to balance the team while acquiring star point guard Russell Westbrook. The former league MVP will provide a different element to the offense while lessening the workload for Davis and James.
However, the Lakers’ game-changing factor remains the star big man as he’s the anchor on both ends of the floor. When healthy, Davis can heavily impact the flow of the game, as he proved during the team’s run to the 2020 NBA title.
“Obviously number one thing for us is getting AD healthy,” James said via Lakers.com. “That’s number one. It doesn’t matter what changes we make. We got to get big fella healthy and needs back to where he was before the injury.”
Los Angeles may have experienced a splashy offseason, but its championship hopes depend on Davis’ health.