Lakers' Anthony Davis on Role as Leader: I'll Speak My Mind to Locker Room or Media

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 1, 2021

SACRAMENTO, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on November 30, 2021 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

With LeBron James missing time this season because of injuries and now the league's health and safety protocols, Anthony Davis has had to become more of a leader for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 28-year-old discussed his attempts to be more vocal this season with Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes:

"I’m just taking that next step in leadership to my career. I’m going to lead the team my way. I’m trying to be one of the guys to express how he feels in our locker room. [Rajon] Rondo, ’Melo [Anthony], Russ [Westbrook] have all been encouraging me to use my voice because I’m normally a really quiet guy when I’m playing and the only time I really talk is when I get tipped over the edge. But they’ve been telling me to 'Use your voice. Use your voice.'
I’m going to be the guy who speaks his mind whether it’s in the media or the locker room. But it’s because I’m trying to help the team breathe confidence in these guys."

The Lakers enter Wednesday in eighth place in the Western Conference with a 12-11 record, while James has played just 11 games in 2021-22.

Davis is averaging 24.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game this season as he seeks his ninth straight All-Star selection.

The Lakers have needed his production on the court and even more help off the court with a roster still looking to develop its chemistry. The team had a massive overhaul in the offseason, with only Davis, James and Talen Horton-Tucker remaining in the rotation from last year.

Davis, who's in his 10th season in the NBA, has been seen seemingly holding his teammates accountable, including during an altercation with Dwight Howard near the beginning of the campaign:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

AD and Dwight got into it during a Laker timeout 😬 <a href="https://t.co/9TULGs7DeE">pic.twitter.com/9TULGs7DeE</a>

It's over with," Davis told reporters of the dispute over blown pick-and-role coverage. "After the situation happened, me and DH, we talked about it and we left it at that."

The forward also hasn't seemed afraid to call out the team in the media, including after a Nov. 12 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"We sucked," Davis said after the game, describing a poor third-quarter performance. "No defense. Can't score. That's not just this third quarter, it's every third quarter we've played this season. We come out slow, lackadaisical offensively and defensively. We got to get it together."

The Lakers will hope this type of aggressiveness will lead to more success as a team going forward.