Rich Paul on Criticism of Lakers' Anthony Davis: He's Faced 'Really Freak' Situations

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 12, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 04: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates after dunking the ball against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on December 04, 2022 in Washington, DC. 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.  (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
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Agent Rich Paul never believed the "injury prone" narrative surrounding Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis.

"Over the last couple years, he's had some really freak situations," Paul said of Davis, per Sam Schube of GQ. "Guy gets pushed into his knee. And then I think the one before that, or the year before that, was a hamstring or a groin, whatever it was. Those are the things that happen when you play the sport. People act like, 'Oh, he's just hoping to go out and get injured.' Or, 'The guy don't want to play.' It's stupidity at times, but that's what comes with it."

Paul also argued the criticism is media-driven to grow viewership.

Injuries have been a major storyline for Davis in the past few seasons, however. After helping the Lakers win the 2020 NBA title, he played just 76 games over the last two years combined. He appeared in three of the final 24 games of 2021-22 as the squad fell out of playoff contention.

Despite his obvious talent on the court, earning eight All-Star selections in his first nine seasons, the lack of durability became a major point of criticism against the forward.

Davis has explained the injuries weren't part of a larger issue.

"There were two injuries I couldn't control," he told Melissa Rohlin of Fox Sports earlier this month. "Somebody getting pushed into my knee or falling into my knee, and landed on someone's foot."

The 29-year-old has been more durable in 2022-23, appearing in 23 of 26 games while never missing more than one game in a row. He's averaging 27.7 points per game, which would be his highest total in four seasons with the Lakers, while his 12.4 rebounds per game lead the NBA.

The criticism will fade if Davis continues to produce at a high level while staying on the court.