The NBA, perhaps more so than other sports leagues, is dominated by top-tier talent. If you want to win a championship, you’ll probably need at least two star players on the roster. Thankfully for the LA Lakers, they boast two of basketball’s best in LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The Lakers, however, aren’t prepared to stop at one championship. According to LeBron James, there’s one specific reason why “the sky’s the limit” for him and Anthony Davis.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis were stars before teaming up
Working together, LeBron James and Anthony Davis have formed one of the league’s top one-two punches. Both men, however, were already stars before heading to Hollywood.
James, of course, burst onto the scene in high school before making the jump directly to the pros. He joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as the first-overall pick of the 2003 draft and grew into a star before infamously taking his talents to South Beach. LeBron won two titles with the Heat, returned to Cleveland and won another championship, and, in the summer of 2018, joined the Lakers.
While Anthony Davis hasn’t won any NBA titles, he does have an impressive resume in his own right. The big man spent one season at Kentucky, where he won an NCAA title and multiple National Player of the Year awards; he then entered the 2012 NBA draft and, like LeBron, became the first-overall pick. AD played seven seasons in New Orleans, blossoming into a star at both ends of the floor, before joining the Lakers via a trade.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis built a relationship based on respect, not jealousy or egos
As two of the world’s best basketball players, both LeBron James and Anthony Davis have supreme confidence in their own abilities. Asking them to work together, it seemed, could be a recipe for disaster.
“In professional sports, you have guys that join forces to become alpha males; that’s what they call them,” James explained, according to Michael C. Wright of NBA.com. “Two guys that have been dominant in a specific sport on their own respective teams, they get together, and they talk about how dominant they can be, and they talk about this is going to be this and that.”
While having two alpha males on the same roster might seem like a recipe for disaster, things haven’t blown up in Hollywood. James and Davis, however, have been willing to check their egos at the door and get to work.
“I believe jealously creeps in a lot, and that is the absolute contrary of what we are,” LeBron continued. “We know who we are. We know what we’re about. We want the best, seriously, every single day both on and off the floor for one another. We’re just not jealous of one another. I think that you align that with respect, I think the sky’s the limit.”
The LA Lakers are reaping the rewards of that relationship
Without being in the Lakers’ locker room, it’s impossible to know how LeBron James and Anthony Davis are really getting along. One thing, however, is perfectly clear: the two stars have meshed incredibly well on the basketball court.
While it’s not exactly ground-breaking to say that putting two talented players together will make a team better, James and Davis seem to work together better than most. LeBron is scoring a bit less and assisting a bit more than usual; it’s much easier to win when those passes are going to a legitimate star rather than someone stepping off the bench.
Similarly, Davis’ points-per-game may have fallen from his best seasons in New Orleans, but he’s reaping the rewards of playing on a talented team. For the first time in his career, he’s not expected to be the main man, capable of carrying his teammates to victory on any given night.
Is the sky really the limit for LeBron James and Anthony Davis? Based on their first season together with the Lakers, it certainly seems possible.
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference