Tim Duncan. Karl Malone. Charles Barkley. Dirk Nowitzki. Anthony Davis?
According to Kobe Bryant, the 21-year-old phenom is on track to be grouped among that esteemed crop of power forwards when his career comes to a close.
Following the Los Angeles Lakers' 107-102 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, Bryant heaped some serious praise on Davis, according to the Orange County Register's Bill Oram:
At the rate Davis has progressed on both ends of the floor, it's hard to disagree with Bryant's take.
After joining Shaquille O'Neal as the second player in league history to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks at age 20 or younger, according to Basketball-Reference.com, Davis is playing his way into the MVP conversation behind averages of 24.8 points, 13.0 rebounds, 4.2 blocks, 2.5 steals and 2.2 assists while shooting 51.8 percent from the field.
And even if the New Orleans Pelicans aren't able to qualify for the postseason in a crowded Western Conference, Bleacher Report's Grant Hughes believes Davis should garner MVP consideration if he continues to post unprecedented statistical figures:
He's already doing more for his team than anyone else is for theirs. He's doing more than anyone, period.
All the buzz Davis is getting now will fade if the Pelicans gradually slip from the playoff picture, and that's not fair. AD has done all he can to put himself in the MVP conversation this season. He belongs there—now, and as long as he continues to blow us away with stats and highlights.
Owner of the league's highest player efficiency rating (35.79), according to ESPN.com, Davis continues to redefine on-court brilliance by expanding one of the Association's most unique skill sets on a game-to-game basis.
Bryant will get a firsthand look at Davis' evolving greatness when the Lakers travel to Smoothie King Center for a showdown with the Pelicans at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday night.