Effort never has a slump, and is one of the few things that an athlete can always control. In the NBA, playing defense takes effort, and becoming the Defensive Player of the Year takes a dedicated mindset. So, while James Harden is working on his step back three-point shot, Anthony Davis is working toward becoming this season’s best defender.
Anthony Davis is playing for the first time this year with LeBron James as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and with the chance many people give the duo to win an NBA title this year, Davis knows to win a ring takes effort on both sides of the floor. “I want to make sure me and LeBron are on the All-Defensive Team … And for me personality, I just want to be the Defensive Player of the Year,” Davis said.
With Davis being James’ younger partner by nine years, much will be expected of the 26-year-old while wearing the Purple and Gold this season. That does not mean, however, that Davis will not hold the team captain to a lower standard than anyone else on the team. “The offensive end will come around, but defensively, I want to hold myself, teammates, including LeBron, accountable in order for us to take on the challenge of being the best we can defensively. In doing so, we’ll have a good chance of winning every night.”
It is this level of maturity and understanding of the game that, without question, draws in player like LeBron James; between the two of them, their ability to see the court and plays unfold a split second before everyone else give them an advantage as individual players as well as teammates. For a player like James Harden, who concern is working on something that he is already good at, the willingness to challenge himself to become better is not there; whereas Anthony Davis knows that it is not good enough to be a great defender when you have the ability to be the best one.
With the weight of the Los Angeles Lakers on his 6’ 10” frame, Anthony Davis has a chance this year to make the once proud franchise his during the 2019-20 season and for years to come. With an approach like this, Davis could win almost any award he wants; but somehow, I think he would be the first to tell you that awards are only a part of being great, winning championships is what make you immortal. Something that James Harden will never learn.
I still don’t believe that the Los Angeles Lakers should be the heavy favorite to win this year’s NBA Finals or even make it out of the Western Conference. What I do believe, however, is that by the end of the year, Anthony Davis will be the best player on the Los Angeles Lakers and could blossom into the best player in the entire NBA because he know he can become just that.