"I think everyone’s gonna come back with a chip on our shoulder, and AD’s gonna lead us with that" - LA Lakers GM Rob Pelinka believes Anthony Davis is having the best offseason of his career

Anthony Davis of the LA Lakers last season
Anthony Davis of the LA Lakers last season

LA Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is excited to see Anthony Davis play next season because he believes Davis is having the "biggest" summer of his career.

It is imperative that Davis stays healthy next season or else the Lakers' plans could go down the drain.

They are trying to build the roster by signing young players and getting rid of their old ones. They are trying to acquire Kyrie Irving and reunite him with LeBron James.

However, none of those moves will work if Davis keeps getting hurt. He has earned himself labels like "soft" and "injury-prone." TNT analyst Charles Barkley famously calls him "Street Clothes" because he is seen more often in casual clothing on the bench rather than playing the game.

However, Pelinka believes all that narrative is about to change because Davis is undergoing some serious work and conditioning. During an interview on ESPN, Pelinka said he has seen AD more serious than ever before:

"He’s bought in, and I think he's quietly put together one of the biggest offseasons of his career. You can just tell. He's got a very serious tone about him. Last year didn’t unfold the way that any of us wanted, and I think everyone's gonna come back with a chip on our shoulder, and AD's gonna lead us with that.
"I think he's working hard. I know he's working really hard on his body. Just excited to see what he’s gonna do."

Davis has been hurt a lot in his career, and his nicknames suggesting he is injury-prone aren't false or exaggerated. He played just 36 (of 72) games in 2020-21 and then just 40 (of 82) games last season. The interesting part is that there is not one nagging injury that always bites him. It is a variety of issues such as his shoulder, knee, ankle, back or elbow.

The last time Davis played more than 60 games in a season (62 of 71), he was a Defensive Player of the Year runner-up and the Lakers won the 2020 title.

Anthony Davis' work ethic is not in question this offseason

Anthony Davis of the LA Lakers warms up.
Anthony Davis of the LA Lakers warms up.

Anthony Davis often gets called out for his lack of proper strength and conditioning work in the offseason as he is hurt a lot.

Davis lost in the first round in 2021 and then returned the next season a shell of himself. He shot an atrocious 18.6% from 3-point range and made just 71.3% of his free throws. Davis shot 84.6% in his first year in LA and was often given the technical free throws, so this dip in foul shooting was alarming.

Many analysts, such as ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, have called him unserious and suggested he should shoot "every day."

However, after Rob Pelinka's comments and Davis' offseason workout videos, it is evident he is taking this summer seriously. He has turned to Chris Matthews, aka Lethal Shooter, who is a sought-after shooting coach, and is training hard. Matthews posted on his social media that Davis is working on his free throws every day at 4:50 a.m.

Poll : Will Anthony Davis bounce back as an All-Star next season?



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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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