Lakers News: Anthony Davis Talks Future in LA, Downplays Focus on Free Agency

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team introduces Anthony Davis at a news conference at the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo, Calif., Saturday, July 13, 2019 (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

Anthony Davis isn't ready to commit to the Los Angeles Lakers beyond the 2019-20 season just yet.

During an appearance on ESPN's The Jump, Rachel Nichols asked Davis if he thinks he'll be a "pillar of the Lakers for years and years to come." Davis answered that he's only focused on the here and now:

"I'm just focused on this season. I don't know what's going to happen. Like I said, I have one year here, so I'm gonna make the best of this year. And when that time comes around in the summer—or whenever the season is over, hopefully around mid-June after we just had a parade and I need a couple of days to think—then we can talk about that. But until then, I'm trying to do whatever I can to help this team win this year."

You can watch the full interview below:

Nichols also asked Davis about playing alongside LeBron James, who some players have balked at playing with because of the media circus that follows him wherever he goes.

"I don't really care about the media attention," Davis said. "I just want to play. I mean if it comes, it comes. If it doesn't, alright. I know it's gonna come with the territory but at the end of the day, I'm focused on the end goal, and that's about winning a championship."

Davis also said that he texted Kawhi Leonard a few times while the Los Angeles Clippers superstar was making his free-agent decision, though he said he had heard Leonard was big on being recruited and was worried he would text him too much.

Finally, he noted that general manager Rob Pelinka had called him "every 30-45 minutes" during the peak of free agency. 

"Rob would call: 'AD, what do you think about him? Alright cool.' Right back: 'This is what happened and is going on with him. Alright cool.' I had to tell him, like, 'Rob, I'm in the movies.' He's like, 'OK, well call me as soon as you get out!' But that's because we're trying to put the best team around us, and I think he did a great job of doing that." 

Expectations are high for the Lakers. In James and Davis, the Lakers have two of the best 10 players in the NBA. They have solid complementary pieces in Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Troy Daniels and Quinn Cook. Rajon Rondo isn't the most natural fit with James but is a cerebral, respected veteran. If DeMarcus Cousins can return to the form he showed prior to his Achilles tear two seasons ago, the Lakers will have their third star.

Still, the NBA is wide open. Leonard and Paul George have made the Clippers the favorites heading into the season, but the Western Conference is stacked. The Clippers, Lakers, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers can all make a strong case for coming out of the West.

Add in the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers in the East—with the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics lurking behind them—and there is an argument to be made that around 10 teams have a legitimate title shot this year.

Davis has the Lakers firmly in that conversation. At least for this season, that is.  

                             

NBA VP of Referee Development and Training Monty McCutchen joins Howard Beck on The Full 48 to discuss the upcoming Coach’s Challenge rule, proposed use of the replay center, L2Ms, and female referees in the NBA, etc.

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