Since his high-profile transition to the LA Lakers, Anthony Davis has consistently been at the center of expectations to ascend as the team's leading light, taking the mantle from the legendary LeBron James. Five years into this journey, the fulfillment of this anticipated transition remains a subject of intense debate and scrutiny.
The season opener presented a stark dichotomy in Davis's performance, particularly noted in the second half against the Denver Nuggets, where he was unable to score, missing all six of his attempts. However, a robust rebound was witnessed on Thursday night when Davis delivered an impressive 30 points and 12 rebounds, contributing significantly to the Lakers' victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Hahn Questions AD's Leadership
In a recent episode of ESPN's "Get Up," analyst Alan Hahn weighed in on the ongoing discourse surrounding the Lakers' star big man. Hahn expressed skepticism about Davis's ability to consistently be the leading force for the team, particularly against top-tier competition.
Hahn stated, "When they play against mid teams, when they play against mid centers, then you'll get Anthony Davis to give you what he can once in a while. But you talk about him carrying the torch, there is no torch, there is no carrying.
We've got to stop asking him or expecting him to do it." The necessity for Davis to step up and be "the guy" for the Lakers is undeniably crucial, especially considering their ambitions of making a triumphant return to the NBA Finals.
As LeBron James enters his 21st season, his capacity to lead the team to championship glory is waning, despite his sustained impact on the court. Recalling the Lakers’ victorious run, Davis’s prominence as the team's top player was undeniable.
However, since then, he has predominantly played second fiddle to LeBron. With a substantial contract extension under his belt, it is imperative for Davis to assert himself as the Lakers' go-to player. The initial games of the season have showcased a continuation of Davis’s inconsistent performance pattern.
He oscillates between being virtually invisible, as seen against the Nuggets, and showcasing top-tier prowess, as he did against the Suns. The inconsistency fuels the ongoing criticism, albeit with an acknowledgment of his potential. It is high time for Anthony Davis to embrace the role and consistently be the leader the Lakers need him to be.