Anthony Davis was integral to the Los Angeles Lakers winning an NBA championship in 2020.
Unfortunately, in the two years since then, he has missed more games than he has played in. That regrettable fact has earned him a not-so-nice nickname from NBA legend Charles Barkley: “Street Clothes.”
The implication is clear, of course – Davis spends more time in regular clothes on the sidelines than he does in an actual Lakers uniform.
This week, Davis responded to Barkley’s jab over his inability to stay healthy.
“I don’t care what he says,” Davis told Brad Turner of The LA Times. “People say stuff for ratings. Like, they got to push their show, push their blog, push their podcast, whatever it is.
“So, people got to say something to bring in viewers. It is what it is. I go out there and play basketball and let them do their job. My job is to hoop. Their job is to talk about me.”
In Barkley’s defense, Davis played in just 35 games last year. Even the Lakers’ front office was concerned about him and his ceiling as a player.
“Apart from missing more games that he played in for the Lakers the last two seasons, there was a sentiment within the team’s front office last season that Davis didn’t look like the franchise player they thought they had coming off the 2020 championship,” ESPN NBA insider Dave McMenamin wrote recently.
The trade chatter surrounding Davis got so loud at one point this summer that he himself had to come out and address it.
This is going to be a career-defining year for Davis. He knows it, too – hence the massive body transformation he has undergone as of late.
Yikes Russell Wilson. https://t.co/vTv0Vo8OJI
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 18, 2022
If the 29-year-old can stay healthy and keep L.A. in title contention, there may be hope yet for him to serve as the Lakers’ leader in the post-LeBron James Era.
Should the opposite occur, though – don’t be surprised if Los Angeles decides to blow up the whole roster and send Davis elsewhere before his contract ultimately expires.