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#pounditTuesday, June 28, 2022

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis has surprising offseason admission

Anthony Davis smiles

Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers’ season ended on April 10, which was apparently around the last time Anthony Davis shot a basketball.

On the latest “Nuke Squad” YouTube episode featuring Davis, the 29-year-old admitted that he has not shot a basketball since early April.

“I haven’t shot a basketball since, maybe April 5,” Davis said. “Probably like April 5.”

While it’s not uncommon for players to take some time off from the game after a long season, it could be seen as surprising that Davis hasn’t put up any shots in over two months. That might be especially surprising after what was a disappointing 33-49 season for the Lakers.

Davis played in just 40 games last season and averaged the fourth-fewest points per game of his 10-year career (23.2). He averaged 9.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and shot 53.2 percent from the field. Davis also had the worst free throw percentage of his career (71.3 percent).

The eight-time All-Star has played in just 76 games over the past two seasons due to injuries. During the season he shared his thoughts on his struggles to stay on the floor.

Davis was a key factor in the Lakers’ NBA Finals run two seasons ago. Given all the time he’s missed over the last few seasons, one might think that Davis would’ve been more eager to get back on the court and put up some shots in preparation for next season. But apparently he thinks taking it easy on the court is the way to go.

Anthony Davis worries Lakers fans with surprising admission

Anthony Davis smiles

Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers saw their season end over a month ago when they failed to reach the postseason, and Anthony Davis apparently has not played much basketball since then.

Davis missed much of February and all of March with an ankle injury. He returned to appear in the Lakers’ first three games of April before he was shut down for the final three. During a recent appearance on the “Nuke Squad” YouTube vlog, Davis revealed that the last time he shot a basketball was when L.A. lost to the Phoenix Suns on April 5.

Lakers fans were not happy to hear that. Davis had a disappointing season by his standards, so fans of the purple and gold want to see him working as hard as possible after the team finished 33-49. Of course, it is possible — if not likely — that Davis has been resting and rehabbing his injuries over the past several weeks.

Davis still looked hurt toward the end of the season. He clearly was not 100 percent healthy, so getting back to full strength will be his top priority this summer. The eight-time All-Star knows he has a reputation for being injury prone, which is why he fired back at his critics recently.

If Davis truly has not shot a basketball in over a month, it probably has nothing to do with him being lazy. Whether fans will perceive it that way or not is another story.

Lakers working out ex-Anthony Davis Pelicans teammate

Anthony Davis smiles

Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis has been out of New Orleans for the last three years now, but the Los Angeles Lakers may be bringing the New Orleans back to him.

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reports that the Lakers held a free-agent workout on Tuesday. Among the players they worked out were Langston Galloway, Kyle Guy, Alize Johnson, DJ Wilson, and Louis King.

Of those names, perhaps the most significant one is the veteran guard Galloway. He previously played with Davis on the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2016-17 season, enjoying a decent year off the bench. Galloway was also teammates with Carmelo Anthony on the New York Knicks from 2015-2016 (though it remains unclear if the free agent Anthony will be back with the Lakers next season).

McMenamin adds that the Lakers could have as many as seven open roster spots to fill this summer. Using one of them on a guard like Galloway would be smart considering how little depth they had behind Russell Westbrook and Malik Monk this season. They might be in the mix for a more exciting free agent move these next several weeks as well.

Surprising report reveals Anthony Davis’ trade value

Anthony Davis smiles

Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers need to make major changes to their roster this offseason, and there has been some talk about them potentially listening to offers for Anthony Davis. According to one NBA analyst, none of those offers are likely to be overwhelming.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on “First Take” Wednesday that he believes the Lakers should consider trading Davis. However, Smith said he was told by some team executives that Davis’ trade value is fairly low at the moment.

“I know for a fact by numerous executives I’ve spoken to, you can’t get but so much value for Anthony Davis because he’s perpetually injured and he’s not reliable healthwise,” Smith said, via Jonathan Sherman of Lakers Daily.

Davis has played in just 76 games over the past two seasons because of injuries. The eight-time All-Star is a dominant force when healthy, but he has trouble staying on the floor. He was one of the primary reasons the Lakers won an NBA title two years ago. Though his health is an obvious concern, you would think some team would be willing to take the risk.

Davis averaged 23.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game this season. The Lakers probably would not have been a championship contender even if he were healthy. It seems unlikely that the team will trade him, but this is not the first we have heard of the idea.

Pelicans waited 3 years to get revenge on Anthony Davis and finally did

Anthony Davis smiles

The New Orleans Pelicans waited a long time to get some revenge on Anthony Davis for forcing a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. On Tuesday night, they finally got their chance.

The Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns 121-110 on Tuesday to officially be eliminated from the playoffs. The Pelicans, meanwhile, are 35-44 and have clinched a play-in game appearance against the Spurs.

The Pelicans tweeted the news Tuesday night, but included a subtle shot at Davis in their tweet. Pay special attention to the first line of the tweet.

What’s the deal with the tweet?

The first line says “That’s All Folks!”

In Davis’ final game with the Pelicans in 2019, he wore a shirt saying “That’s All Folks!” in the Looney Toons font. Davis ended up being traded to the Lakers that summer.

Yes, New Orleans had to endure Davis winning a championship with the Lakers in the Orlando bubble. But they finally got their revenge in 2022. The Lakers have gone through a disastrous season, and their teetering ship finally sank. New Orleans is loving it.

Photo: Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis fires back at those criticizing him over injuries

Anthony Davis smiles

With unflattering nicknames like “Day to Day-vis,” “Always Damaged,” and “Street Clothes,” it is safe to say that Anthony Davis gets criticized for being injury-prone. Davis seems to be done holding his tongue about it though.

In an interview this week with Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. Lakers star Davis fired back at those attacking him over his many injuries.

“This is what I’ve learned about injuries: Last year when I wasn’t playing, people were saying ‘AD’s giving up on his team. It’s the playoffs. AD has to play. He’s got to play,'” said Davis. “And when I went out there to play, got hurt again, they said, ‘Who was his trainer? Who let him play?’

“So, what the [expletive] do you want me to do?” Davis went on. “When I play, it’s a problem. It’s a problem when I don’t play. At the end of the day, I’ve got to do what’s best for me and how my body feels. And we go from there. I’m not worried about who’s saying what or who thinks this about me because none of them have stepped on the floor and played. And the ones that did play, they should understand. These aren’t little ticky-tack injuries.”

Davis shares some other thoughts on his injury struggles in Woike’s piece. You can read it in full here.

Though Davis is now back for the Lakers, he has been limited to 39 games this season after suffering a knee sprain in December followed by an ankle sprain in February. The eight-time All-Star big was clearly hobbled during Sunday’s game against Denver, fighting through pain and discomfort in his foot, only for the Lakers to end up losing their sixth straight game.

Those criticizing Davis over an injury history that is now longer than “War and Peace” don’t exactly question the legitimacy of his ailments. Instead, they seem to be questioning Davis’ physical durability and whether he is doing all that he can to keep his body in shape and best avoid injury. Even dating back to his rookie season in New Orleans, Davis was seemingly going to the locker room with an injury every other game. As he has gotten older, the injuries have only gotten more frequent and severe, even if Davis should still be in peak physical condition at 29 years old. The Lakers’ campaign last year was also derailed by a groin injury that Davis suffered in the playoffs, as he hinted at in the interview.

This is simply who Davis is at this point, and he still has not played in more than 75 games in a single season over his decade-long NBA career. But as for Davis’ “the ones that did play” comment here, that may have been aimed at this retired NBA great who frequently targets Davis over his injury woes.

Photo: Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis makes admission about NBA play-in tournament

Anthony Davis smiles

The NBA play-in tournament was not universally popular when it was first introduced last season, but it is winning over some converts by providing them with a possible route into the playoffs.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis was asked about the play-in tournament on Sunday after his team’s loss to Denver. Davis admitted that he’s a fan, mostly because the Lakers have been huge beneficiaries of the tournament in the last two seasons.

The Lakers finished seventh in the West last season, so they would have still made the playoffs under the previous system. However, they would already be eliminated this season, as they sit 31-47 and 11th in the West. As things stand, they are within 1.5 games of the No. 10 spot, which would at least give them a shot at a play-in game.

The play-in has not been kind to everyone, which has attracted joking criticism in the past. However, the Lakers have to love it at this point. They’d be irrelevant without it, and they’re fortunate to have a chance to even play in it at this stage.

Photo: Photo: Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Fan ejected twice for heckling Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis smiles

The Los Angeles Lakers have faced quite a bit of heckling the past two seasons, and it doesn’t sit well with their stars. But the fans aren’t scaling it back despite the complaints from players, and that was evident again on Friday night when Anthony Davis became the center of attention.

Davis, who returned after an 18-game absence, got into a verbal exchange with a fan early in the fourth quarter, leading the ticket-holder to be ejected. But rather than leave the building, he returned to his seat and again took aim at Davis.

And again, he was ejected.

Forget Larry David, this has Bobby Valentine in a fake mustache written all over it.

It’s unclear what the fan said that led to the ejection, but that hardly seems to matter anymore. Players are pushing harder and harder for fans to be booted for saying words with LeBron James frequently leading that charge.

It is an interesting dynamic, however. Players frequently voice their opinions on all matters via social media and regularly talk trash on the court, but can’t seem to handle any incoming verbal jabs. Some believe they’ve gone soft but in reality, it’s a product of modern culture. Everyone can dish it out but precious few can take it.

Photo: Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Lakers open to trading star player not named Russell Westbrook?

Rob Pelinka at a press conference

The Los Angeles Lakers have shown this year that they are in need of major changes heading into next season. It is a given that they will try to find a way to trade Russell Westbrook, but are they also open to moving another piece of their so-called Big Three?

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst was asked on Tuesday about the possibility of the Lakers trading Anthony Davis this summer. The NBA insider believes it will be discussed.

“I think it’ll be something that’s discussed,” Windhorst said. “I think it would be a mistake because you’re still talking about a guy — when healthy — who is a top-15 player. You’re not going to be replacing that.”

LeBron has basically served as de-facto general manager of the Lakers since he signed with them nearly four years ago. It seems highly unlikely that he would want the team to trade Davis, unless it was for another star player or two. As Windhorst noted, James is eligible for a contract extension this offseason.

“In August, LeBron is eligible to sign a contract extension. He will evaluate the moves of June and July and then extend or not,”Windhorst said. “This is going to be a very delicate couple of months when this season is mercifully over.”

Davis was arguably the biggest reason the Lakers won an NBA title two years ago. The biggest issue with him, of course, is health. He has played in just 37 games this season and been out since Feb. 16 with a foot injury. That is a big factor in why the Lakers are in danger of missing the playoffs.

It sounds like there could be some things for LeBron and the Lakers’ front office to smooth over this summer. If James wants Davis to remain in L.A., that will almost certainly be the outcome.

H/T Lakers Daily
Photo: Sep 27, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka answers a question during the Lakers media day at the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo, CA. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis to shed street clothes for jersey this week

Anthony Davis smiles

Anthony Davis is preparing to shed his typical work uniform for a Lakers jersey this week.

The Los Angeles Lakers forward is set to return to action either Friday or Sunday, Chris Haynes reported on Tuesday.

Davis has not played in a game since Feb. 16 due to a foot sprain. He’s only played in 37 games this season due to various injuries.

The 29-year-old big man is effective whenever healthy, but the problem is he’s not healthy often enough. He is averaging 23.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 2.3 blocks per game this season.

If Davis is able to return on Friday, that would be a home game against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Lakers are currently tied with San Antonio for the 10th spot in the West and a game behind New Orleans for the 9th spot. Sunday’s game would be at home against Denver, which entered Tuesday sixth in the West.

The Lakers have lost three in a row.

Photo: Photo: Dec 18, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports