EL SEGUNDO, CA (News4usonline) – The Brow has officially landed. Now that Lebron James has Michael Jordan’s version of Scottie Pippen in power forward Anthony Davis, what will all of that mean for the Los Angeles Lakers in their quest to bring championship glory back to the City of Angels?
For starters, the transaction the Lakers made with the New Orleans Pelicans that sent Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram out of town, immediately enhanced the Lakers’ chances of being on top of the food chain as title-bound contenders. But in the Wild, Wild West (Western Conference), where the competition will be tough-from top to bottom-potential, almost, and maybe won’t cut the mustard for Lakers fans.
With Davis being part of a name-dropping roster, expectations are going to be extremely real high this season and the foreseeable future for the Lakers. Essentially, it’s about getting that hardware. Everything else takes a backseat.
Davis made his official debut as a member of the Lakers during an introductory press conference at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo on Saturday, July 13. Davis made his appearance flanked by Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Frank Vogel with James making a cameo appearance near the end of the media presser.
Pelinka started the press conference acknowledging and thanking a bunch of people for making the trade possible before getting into talking about Davis, a three-time All-NBA First Team member.
Pelinka even giving kudos to Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the Lakers former president of basketball operations. But the hour belonged to Davis. Pelinka had nothing but high praise for the 6-foot-10 power forward.
“There is nothing that he can’t do,” Pelinka said of Davis. “He can shoot. He can make plays. He can defend-one to five. He can protect the rim. He can handle the ball. His dedication to his craft is unparallel. To sit here next to him and think he’s going to be on our team and he’s going to be a pillar on our team for many years is just something we’re incredibly proud of, not just for what he brings as a basketball player, but who he is as a person.
Pelinka didn’t stop there with the platitudes.
“He’s a person of excellence and he’s a person who carries himself in a way that where action speaks louder than words,” Pelinka said. “His craft is on the court and dominance on the court. He’s not out talking a lot. You don’t see him talking much in games or really talking about himself. He just does it with his work. That’s at the core of how we want this team to be this season.”
The Lakers have had their share of unwanted distractions the last couple of years, including getting a big dose of it last season. So far, the Lakers, even during the frenzy of the free agency period, have kept things orderly, and at the same time, have managed to place themselves in position as one of the favorites to dethrone the Golden State Warriors as Western Conference rulers and make a possible run for an NBA title.
The Lakers have done so with a slew of signings and deals. None bigger than the acquisition of Davis, the NBA’s top shot blocker in three of his seven seasons in the league. Davis coming to the Lakers became almost inevitable when the 26-year-old superstar’s demands to be traded came to public light earlier this year. The only destination as far as
Davis was concerned was joining the Purple and Gold squad, pitting him alongside James. Still, moving on from a place he has called home for the past seven seasons, was not easy, Davis said.
“I think the most difficult part is not knowing the unknown, whether I get traded or whether I go back to New Orleans,” Davis said. “So, I think the unknown was the most difficult for me and then when it was announced that I was being traded, I wouldn’t say it was a sigh of relief…it was, you know, something, you know, that I thought about for a long time. Obviously, it was tough for me to leave the city I’ve been playing for seven years, but I think it was great for me. It was my time. When I found out that I was getting traded to the Lakers, I realized it was an unbelievable opportunity for me to be here with a wonderful organization, and then get to play alongside Lebron (James).”
Vogel is excited to have two to the top NBA stars on his roster. Without a doubt, because of their size and versatility, James and Davis will present one of the more difficult duos to defend on the court.
“In terms of the two of them, complementing each other, both are guys that are going to demand double teams in any action that you’re going to put them in,” Vogel said. “They’re going to draw a lot of attention, so to have a second star to be the counterpunch to each is really just going to have the two of them complement each other.”