Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis appears to have been paying attention to criticism from fans and analysts after he said this offseason that it had been a while since he shot a basketball.
Per NBA insider Marc Stein in his Substack newsletter, Davis has been "working out with increased diligence" amid blowback to his statement about not touching a ball since April.
Davis made his comment during a June 10 appearance on the Nuke Squad YouTube vlog.
This wasn't a total surprise since he told reporters his normal offseason routine consists of four weeks of rest after the season, six weeks of only weight training and bringing in basketball work six weeks before the start of training camp.
Lakers fans didn't take well to Davis' comments, based on some reactions from social media:
Revisionist what.<br><br>Anthony Davis has achieved nothing in his career.<br><br>1 Championship and no awards.<br><br>He wasn't even an all star at age 29. 2 years without all NBA mentions.<br><br>He is the worst shooter in the league.<br><br>4 playoff apps in 10 years.<br><br>I'm an AD fan but it's unacceptable.
Calling an eight-time All-Star who also played a significant role in the Lakers winning the 2019-20 NBA title the "biggest waste" of talent in NBA history seems like a stretch, but fans aren't unjustified in being nervous about where things stand with Davis.
The 29-year-old has missed 79 games between the regular season and playoffs over the past two seasons combined. He only played in three of the Lakers' final 24 games during the 2021-22 campaign because of a foot injury.
When Davis has been able to play, he's been terrific during that span. He has averaged 22.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in 76 starts since the 2020-21 season.
During his first season with the Lakers in 2019-20, Davis was named to the All-NBA first team after averaging 26.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. He was even better in the playoffs, scoring 27.7 points on 38.3 percent three-point shooting and had 12 double-doubles in 21 games.
They made the playoffs in 2020-21 as the No. 7 seed by defeating the Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament, but their hopes of repeating as NBA champs ended with a first-round loss to the Phoenix Suns. A groin injury kept Davis out of Game 5 against the Suns. He attempted to play in Game 6, but only made it through five minutes before getting removed.
The Lakers finished 11th in the Western Conference last season with a 33-49 record and missed the play-in tournament. It marked the seventh time in the past nine seasons that they haven't made the playoffs. The franchise only missed the playoffs five times in its first 65 years of existence from 1948-2013.
Any expectations for the Lakers heading into the 2022-23 season will be tied to the health of Davis and LeBron James.
It's unclear if Davis' renewed commitment to putting himself in peak physical condition will help him avoid injuries, but this is at least a positive sign as the Lakers prepare for a crucial season.