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#pounditFriday, October 7, 2022

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis wasn’t happy playing with Dennis Schroder?

Anthony Davis Lakers

Long before Dennis Schroder completely bungled his free agency this summer, the veteran point guard rejected a lucrative contract extension from the Los Angeles Lakers. It is fair to wonder if Anthony Davis is pleased with the way things turned out.

According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, Davis was frustrated at times last season with some of the looks he got (or didn’t get) when Schroder was running the Lakers’ offense. Davis was apparently a lot more pleased with the way the offense ran with Rajon Rondo two years ago.

The Lakers, of course, re-signed Rondo this offseason. Pincus notes that they consider the veteran point guard to be a “safety net” of sorts behind inexperienced guards Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn. L.A. also sees the value in having a proven backup with LeBron James soon turning 37 and having battled some injuries in recent years.

Russell Westbrook will obviously be in charge of the Lakers’ offense next season, but Rondo gives them a proven veteran for a variety of situations.

The Lakers could have brought Schroder back. He ended up signing with the Boston Celtics for the $5.9 million mid-level exception, so L.A. had the option of signing him to the same type of deal. They chose not to, which makes you wonder if Davis played a role in the decision.

Anthony Davis Ruffles get negative attention online during storm

Anthony Davis Lakers

Anthony Davis is catching stray bullets even during a hurricane.

A video clip went viral online this weekend. It shows someone filming the empty shelves at a grocery store, purportedly in Louisiana. The store is devoid of food with residents preparing for the onset of Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm.

Even during a Category 4 storm, people are still taking shots at Davis.

The person who recorded the video noted that about the only items remaining on the shelves were bags of Anthony Davis Ruffles, which are lime and jalapeno flavored.

Is it possible that nobody wanted the odd combination of lime and jalapeno during a storm? Or is this just an example of how despised Davis is in Louisiana after forcing his way out of New Orleans to the Lakers?

Whatever the case, it can’t be comforting for Davis to receive this kind of shade even during such a destructive time around Louisiana and Mississippi. But we know that the way Davis forced his way out of New Orleans did not sit well with many.

LeBron James, Anthony Davis lobbied Lakers to keep Jared Dudley

Jared Dudley

Jared Dudley barely played for the Los Angeles Lakers, but it’s quite clear that his departure from the team is viewed as a big blow by the team’s stars.

Speaking to Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times, Dudley admitted that he had expected to return to the Lakers, saying it was “crazy” that he was not brought back. The 36-year-old added that he had no hard feelings toward the organization, but had tried to convince the team to bring him back to the point that he was willing to play on a non-guaranteed contract.

“Obviously LeBron and A.D. wanted me back,” Dudley said. “But we just couldn’t convince them.”

How serious were some Lakers about bringing Dudley back? According to Plaschke, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook all lobbied the front office to keep Dudley, but their overtures were rebuffed. With that option out, Dudley opted to retire and join Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd’s staff as an assistant.

James did not hide his anger at Dudley’s departure when the news came out. Dudley was regarded as a key locker room presence who kept the team’s stars on the same page and was widely beloved by teammates. Given his eagerness to return, it’s surprising the Lakers weren’t willing to find a way to accommodate him.

Lakers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

Russell Westbrook met at LeBron James’ house to plot Lakers move

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook is now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and the move came together just as he and the Lakers’ superstars planned.

On Thursday, word emerged that the Lakers pulled off a trade with the Washington Wizards to acquire Westbrook. The Lakers sent Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and a first-round pick to Washington for Westbrook and two future second-round picks.

The trade was culminated two weeks after a big meeting at LeBron James’ house.

According to the LA Times’ Broderick Turner, Westbrook met with Anthony Davis and LeBron at James’ home two weeks ago. There, they discussed teaming up together on the Lakers.

Turner reports that the players agreed to put their egos aside in the interest of pursuing a championship. For instance, James and Davis expressed a willingness to play different positions if necessary. Westbrook said he was willing to play off the ball when James wanted to handle the rock.

The result is the Lakers ended up pursuing and making the trade, with the Wizards fulfilling Westbrook’s desires.

The Lakers will enter the 2021-2022 season as a strong contender to win the championship, just as they did in 2020. The trade also means that Westbrook was 1-and-done in DC, just like he was 1-and-done in Houston.

Based on his reaction, James seems pretty pumped about having the “Brodie” in the mix.

Anthony Davis explains why he tried to play through groin injury

Anthony Davis Lakers

Anthony Davis clearly should not have played in Thursday night’s loss to the Phoenix Suns, but the Los Angeles Lakers star said he wanted to do everything he could to help the team avoid elimination.

Davis was only able to play five minutes in Game 6 before exiting, as he could hardly move well due to his groin injury. He told reporters after his team’s 113-100 loss that he wanted to try to tough it out given the circumstances.

“I just wanted to be out there for the team in the situation of win or go home,” Davis said. “Obviously, I didn’t just want to lay down and not be able to do what I can. It never really felt good, but it’s just the competitive nature in me to want to go out and help the team as much as I could. My body didn’t agree.”

Davis injured his groin in Game 4 and sat out Game 5. It was evident how important he is to the Lakers when they were blown out 115-85 in Game 5. That’s likely why he did everything he could to play, but his injury kept him from being effective.

Charles Barkley ruthlessly mocked Davis earlier in the week for always being hurt (video here), but you have to admire the star big man’s effort to play hurt on Thursday.

Charles Barkley plays both sides on Anthony Davis injury

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley is known for some of his biting analysis, but he whiffed with his commentary regarding Anthony Davis.

Barkley went hard on Davis Tuesday, sharing his disparaging nickname for the Los Angeles Lakers big man. Barkley calls Davis “Street Clothes” as a reference to Davis’ tendency to get injured.

Davis seems like he is dealing with one injury or another on a regular basis, so Barkley isn’t exactly off base. And Barkley is no stranger to making jokes at players’ expenses, so this isn’t new.

But where Barkley went wrong came with his commentary at halftime of Game 6 between the Lakers and Phoenix Suns in their first-round playoff series.

Davis, who missed Game 5 of the series due to a groin injury, tried to play in Game 6 with his Lakers facing elimination. It didn’t go well. Davis was hardly able to move well, clearly did not belong in the game, and only lasted five minutes before exiting.

Commentary like Barkley’s may have made Davis feel pressure to play through an injury when he really had no business playing. But then at halftime, Barkley put the blame on the Lakers’ medical staff for clearing Davis to play.

Given the way he mocked Davis, maybe Barkley should have praised Davis for trying to play.

Anthony Davis gave sign he will be ready for Game 6

Anthony Davis Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis certainly appears confident that he will be able to play in the team’s do-or-die Game 6 on Thursday.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Davis gave a signal of optimism that he would be back quickly during the team’s blowout loss in Game 5. Coming out of a timeout, Davis glanced at someone sitting courtside, nodded, and held up six fingers, suggesting that he would be good to go for Game 6.

Of course, there’s a difference between optimism and reality sometimes, and it remains to be seen how Davis’ left groin responds ahead of Thursday’s game. Davis could be seen wincing during a pregame workout while testing the injury, and it was quite clear he didn’t come particularly close to playing in Game 5. That is despite Davis telling teammates he was going to push to play leading up to that game, only to be ruled out when he obviously couldn’t go.

The Lakers will probably need Davis in Game 6, as the team’s supporting cast was not up to the challenge in Game 5. Plus, Davis will no doubt want to silence some of his critics, but ultimately, it’s not totally up to him how he’ll feel come Thursday.

Charles Barkley coins harsh new nickname for Anthony Davis

Charles Barkley

Anthony Davis is one of the most dominant players in the NBA when healthy, but staying on the court is something he has struggled with throughout his career. Charles Barkley clearly has no sympathy for the Los Angeles Lakers star.

During TNT’s halftime coverage of the Lakers-Suns game on Tuesday night, Barkley declared that L.A. has no chance of winning the series “without Street Clothes.” We capitalized “Street Clothes” because Barkley was using it as a name for Davis.

Barkley, of course, was referring to the fact that Davis is injured so often. The harsh shot at Davis drew a round of awkward laughs from Chuck’s TNT colleagues.

Davis missed 30 consecutive games during the regular season with what the Lakers described as a calf strain. He exited in the first half of Game 3 against the Suns after hyperextending his knee and did not return. The All-Star big man then injured his groin in Game 4 and was unable to play in Game 5 on Tuesday.

Once again, we saw how important Davis is to the Lakers, as they were blown out 115-85 by the Suns. The loss was so bad that LeBron James recreated his infamous playoff stunt from last year.

You never want to question the legitimacy of a player’s injury, but is sounds like Barkley feels Davis is not doing everything he can to suit up.

Anthony Davis groin injury update: Lakers star unlikely to play in Game 5

Anthony Davis Lakers

Anthony Davis left the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday with a groin injury, and it sounds like the ailment will keep him out for at least one more game.

Davis is unlikely to play in Game 5 against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. He is considered day-to-day, but Charania notes that there is optimism about his status going forward.

Game 5 is extremely important for the Lakers, as Phoenix’s win on Sunday tied the series at 2-2. If the Lakers lose on Tuesday night, they’ll be forced to win both Game 6 and Game 7, which will be in Phoenix.

Davis, who has also been dealing with a knee injury, scored 34 points in each of the Lakers’ wins in the series. The team struggled when he was sidelined during the regular season, and his importance can’t be overstated.

Anthony Davis could play in Game 5 despite groin injury

Anthony Davis Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers received relatively good news on forward Anthony Davis after he left Sunday’s Game 4 with a groin injury.

As first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic, Davis is considered day-to-day after suffering a left groin strain in the Lakers’ first round series against the Phoenix Suns. Davis has a chance to play in Game 5, but that is far from guaranteed at this point.

The good news for the Lakers is that Davis has a chance, perhaps even a good one, to play again in the series. There might not be a lot of time for a comeback, though. The series is tied 2-2, and the Lakers will have to win on Tuesday in Phoenix to avoid facing elimination in Game 6. Whether or not they have an effective Davis in that one could be huge.

Davis, who has also been dealing with a knee injury, did not play in the second half of Sunday’s loss. He scored 34 points in each of the Lakers’ wins in the series, but was held to 13 in a Game 1 loss and contributed only six in the first half Sunday before being forced out by injury.