After failing to score in the second half of the Los Angeles Lakers’ season-opening 119-107 loss to the defending champion Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, eight-time All-Star Anthony Davis was the subject of significant criticism. Davis, who holds career averages of 24 points and 10 rebounds per game, went scoreless on six shot attempts in the second half after putting up 17 points prior to intermission.
Davis is no stranger to chastisement, most recently for his lack of consistency during the Lakers’ postseason run to the Western Conference finals this past spring. According to Lakers forward LeBron James, however, none of that talk matters in the slightest.
James gave his opinion on the issue following the Lakers’ 100-95 win over the Phoenix Suns in Thursday’s home opener, in which Davis put up 19 of his 30 points in the second half, to go along with 12 rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Davis also made four straight free throws in the closing seconds to seal the victory.
“We don’t give a sh– about criticism about AD,” James said. “We don’t care. Nothing bothers us. AD doesn’t care. I don’t know if guys have figured that out. AD does not care. He’s not on social media, so he doesn’t see none of the crap. He rarely talks, unless it’s to us. So, we don’t give a sh– about it, and he definitely doesn’t.”
“We don’t give a s*** about criticism about AD. AD doesn’t care, he’s not on social media.” – LeBron on the criticism of Anthony Davis pic.twitter.com/Ut3XFA3EUx
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 27, 2023
James, who finished with 21 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in Thursday’s win, has continued to hype up Davis over the course of their five seasons as Lakers teammates. He even went as far as to call Davis the face of the franchise on media day at the beginning of October, a couple of months after Davis signed a three-year, $186 million max extension that will keep him with the Lakers through 2028.
NBA analysts have grown frustrated with Davis’ play over the years, as in certain stretches he looks like the best two-way player in the league, but in others — like the second half against Denver — he seemingly disappears from the court.
That being said, when Davis is healthy, there’s no denying that he’s one of the NBA’s few elite game-changers.