LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been the best players on the LA Lakers' roster and the team's best chance of challenging for an NBA championship. The superstar duo has been playing very well on the floor, but they also have a lot of fun off the court.
Back in 2021, a star-studded Lakers roster was participating in the team's Media Day heading into the 2021/22 season, with LeBron James making his usual celebration and Anthony Davis hilariously mocking him.
It was a sign of the great relationship between the two, even though the Lakers' season ended in disappointment, following the elimination from the postseason (11th place in the West, 33-49 record).
Last year, Davis and James led the Lakers to the Western Conference Finals, with the team playing very well in the final part of the season. This offseason, the Lakers bolstered their roster and should be in a position to challenge for a shot at the title.
LeBron James calls Anthony Davis the best defender in the NBA
When healthy, Anthony Davis has the ability to influence the game on both ends. His offensive repertoire and elite defense make him one of the best two-way players in the NBA.
This became obvious during his first season with the Lakers, when he led the franchise to the championship in the 2020 Orlando Bubble, and in the final part of the 2022/23 season.
The 17-time NBA champions built chemistry and momentum heading into the playoffs and eliminated the Memphis Grizzlies and reigning champions Golden State Warriors en route to the Western Conference Finals.
Davis was a cornerstone part of the Lakers' success this season, with averages of 25.9 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 2.6 apg, and 2.0 bpg.
"He's the best defensive player in the league. I think the league knows it as well. There are not many guys that can protect the rim at all costs and also switch out on point guards, switch out on guys like Steph, Steph is a hell of a player and had a hell of game, I think he even had a triple-double. But we trust AD guarding anybody in this league and he showed that," LeBron James told media about Anthony Davis after Game 4 vs the Warriors, via Fadeaway World.
The key to Davis' elite defensive performance is his ability to be effective in switch defense and 1-on-1 situations, while inside the paint his shot-blocking ability is great.
The Lakers view Anthony Davis as their future leader and the one who will take over once LeBron James retires. Thus, they signed the All-Star big man to a three-year contract extension in the offseason, worth a total of $186 million. Under the new deal, worth a total of $270 million for the next five years, Davis will stay with the Lakers through 2028.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis are now getting ready for the start of preseason, as the Lakers open their training camp on Tuesday, October 3.