Over last offseason, the LA Lakers made the big-splash move to acquire star big man Anthony Davis. That came after months of speculation that the franchise would make a strong push to trade for him. Davis is now one of the centerpieces to the franchise’s success this season and potentially well beyond that. However, it didn’t hit him that he was a member of the Lakers until much later than expected.
Anthony Davis’ impact with Lakers
Since landing with the Lakers, Anthony Davis has quickly made a significant impact.
In his first campaign in LA, Davis helped guide the organization back into the playoffs for the first time in seven years. They locked in the top overall seed in the Western Conference behind their first 50-win campaign since the 2010-11 season.
Davis has been the Lakers’ driving force on both ends of the court as he finished the regular season with a team-best with 26.1 points per game. He has also propelled himself into earning a finalist nomination for the Defensive Player of the Year award as the anchor to LA’s stout defense. Beyond that, the 27-year-old has worked remarkably well with LeBron James from the get-go as the two have excelled playing off each other.
That said, it took some time before Davis finally felt like he was a member of the Lakers.
When Anthony Davis realized he was a Laker
The Lakers officially acquired Anthony Davis June 2019 during last offseason as the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade.
Davis was immediately welcomed with open arms by the Lakers’ organization and their fan base. However, it took until mid-November of the 2019-20 season for him to truly feel like he was a member of the Lakers, according to Jarrel Harris of SI.com.
“That is crazy that you asked that because I was at the arena yesterday and during the game, during one of the timeouts it happened and I was just looking around and I have always been playing so I never really had a chance to really take it all in.”
Davis continued: “So the timeout was going on and I am looking around the arena and the Staples Center, I am looking at the banners and everything and I told one of my teammates, Quinn Cook, I tapped him during the huddle while coach was talking and I said ‘Man this is crazy, it just hit me that I am a Laker.” He was like for real? I was like yeah it just hit me that I am a Laker. So that happened last night [laughs].”
The seven-time All-Star already donned a Lakers uniform for a couple of months at that point, but it didn’t hit him until he relished the moment during a timeout. Over the years, many players have stated that it’s a different experience playing for the franchise, given its illustrious history and passionate fan base. Davis got to experience that unforgettable moment fully.
Lakers’ championship hopes
Following a disappointing loss in Game 1 against the Portland Trail Blazers in their first-round playoff series, the Lakers have bounced back with three straight wins.
LA has finally looked like the team that many pegged as a title contender in the stacked Western Conference. LeBron James has taken his game to greater heights in his usual playoff form. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis has stepped up averaging 26.5 points and 9.5 rebounds on 54.5% shooting from the floor. That includes him pouring in more than 25 points in double-double efforts three times in the first four games played.
Things have tilted a bit more in the Lakers’ favor for Game 5 with star point guard Damian Lillard declared out due to a sprained knee injury. LA is coming off a blowout win in Game 4 and will have a prime opportunity to close out the series on Wednesday night.