Lakers' Anthony Davis on Potentially Starting at Center: 'I Trust Coach's Decision'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVOctober 13, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 3: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles during a preseason game against the Sacramento Kings on October 3, 2022 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, 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 2022 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers superstar big man Anthony Davis is open to starting at center this season if he is asked to do so.

According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Davis said the following Thursday about head coach Darvin Ham potentially asking him to play the 5: "I trust Coach’s decision. I mean, I'm pretty sure he heard AD wants to play the 4, so he knows where I stand, but at the end of the day, I want to win, so if that's me playing the 5, that's what it's got to be."

The 29-year-old Davis has extensive experience at both center and power forward during his NBA career, but power forward has traditionally been his more natural position.

AD has said many times over the years that his preference is to play power forward. In fact, Davis said during his first year with the Lakers in 2019, "I don't really like playing the 5," per Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times.

Despite being more comfortable at power forward, though, Davis has always maintained he would be willing to do what is in the best interest of the team.

No official determination or announcement has been made regarding where Davis will play this season, but Ham said this week that starting him at center is "under heavy consideration," according to Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet.

The Lakers have multiple options at center this season, including Thomas Bryant and Damian Jones, but if they primarily go with a smaller lineup, Davis would have to play center in that scenario.

L.A.'s starting lineup for Wednesday's 118-113 preseason loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves featured Davis at the 5, LeBron James at power forward, Lonnie Walker IV at small forward and both Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley in the backcourt.

Typically, Davis has always been a dominant force when healthy regardless of where he plays, which is something Ham can hang his hat on.

In 10 NBA seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans and Lakers, Davis is an eight-time All-Star, four-time All-Defensive Team selection and one-time NBA champion.

He also boasts career averages of 23.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game, making him one of the preeminent big men of his time.

Injuries limited Davis to just 40 games last season, which is a big reason why the Lakers missed the playoffs. If he can remain healthy in 2022-23, the Lakers have a good chance to make it back to the postseason, no matter where Davis lines up.