July 18, 2019 

By Jarred Davis 

Contributing Writer 


Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka introduced its new prized possession in Anthony Davis as “the most dominant young basketball player in the world,” Saturday at the Lakers training complex in El Segundo.


It took months and months for New Orleans and Los Angeles to come to terms on a deal in June that ultimately sent Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and a colossal amount of future first round draft picks in exchange for the 26-year-old superstar.


The 6’10’’ super athletic big man averaged 25.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.6 steals last year for the Pelicans while playing a career-low 33 minutes per game. He’s currently made three All-NBA 1st Teams and has been an All-Star every year besides his rookie season.


“There is no more complete basketball player in the game,” Pelinka added on Davis. “There is nothing he can’t do. He can shoot. He can make plays. He can defend 1 to 5. He can protect the rim. He can handle the ball. His dedication to his craft is unparalleled. To sit here next to him and think he’s going to be on our team and he’s going to be a pillar in this franchise for many years is just something we’re incredibly proud of.”


Davis admitted that he was watching a movie during the time the news officially broke that he had been traded. He declined to pick up the phone when his agent first called about the trade. Moments later, Davis decided again not to answer a second time, but quickly then changed his mind to return the call, where he was sent to voicemail.


Like most millennials would then do; he took to social media and discovered the life-altering news via Instagram.


“The most difficult part for me was just not knowing,” Davis said. “When it was announced that I was being traded, I don’t want to say it was a relief, (but) it was something that I’d thought about for a long time. Obviously, it was tough to leave the city I’d been playing in for seven years, but I think it was best for me.


“When I found out I’d been traded to the Lakers, I realized it was an unbelievable opportunity for me,” he added. “To be here with a wonderful organization, and then to be able to play alongside LeBron and the players that we have now … to get the opportunity to do that and come here and play for an organization that’s all about winning, and winning championships, and that’s the only goal, I think that was the biggest thing for me.”


Davis’ new jersey will be No. 3 after his plan to take his normal No. 23 from [LeBron] James fell apart due to league rules involving jersey supplier Nike, as they had already made a huge amount of James apparel according to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. No. 3 is Davis’ elementary and middle school number, but still described the tough situation as “pretty hurtful.”


In free agency, the Lakers ultimately missed out on landing Kawhi Leonard, but Davis’ decision to waive his $4 million trade kicker allowed the team to bring in significant pieces.   


“Anytime you’re able to acquire a player like Kawhi, I think you have to do almost everything to get a guy like that,” Davis said. “It didn’t work out for us, but I wanted to make sure I did whatever I could to help the team.”


With the team's extra cap space, Los Angeles added much needed perimeter shooting by signing Danny Green, Quinn Cook and Avery Bradley from the Toronto Raptors, Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies, respectfully.  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee, who spent last season with the Lakers, all were brought back on short term deals.


“It's going to be a fun season,” Davis said. “I like our roster. I like every player that we have. I’ll put our roster up against anybody. I feel like that in a seven-game series, we'll come out victorious.”


One of the biggest wild cards and additions to the team is the signing of former All-Star and Warrior big man DeMarcus Cousins, who agreed on a one-year deal to help solidify the frontcourt.


With Cousins and McGee on the roster, Davis may not be asked to play the center position as much as he did previously in New Orleans.


“I like playing the four, I’m not even going to sugarcoat it, I like playing the four. I don’t really like playing the five. But if it comes down to it, coach and you need me to play the five, then I’ll play the five.” Davis added with a laugh.


Once the press conference was finished, Davis wasted no time in walking over to see his new favorite teammate in James, who was in attendance in support of the six-time All-Star.


The two NBA icons shared an unforgettable moment of laughter while being surrounded by media all around.


Davis and James will become one of the league’s most lethal duos ever to grace the hardwood and immediately will be looking to hang another historic championship banner for the purple and gold in the 2019-20 season.

Category: Sports