Anthony Davis had a very very informative summer. Thanks to a wide variety of injuries to Team USA's centers, the national team was forced to turn to the top overall pick in the 2012 Draft for valuable bench minutes and potential front court depth. Davis was given an incredible opportunity to learn from some of the best players in the NBA and get a crash course from them on life in the league.
Davis did not play much in games, but he probably took some hard lessons on the court off of it during the legendarily intense Team USA practices.
Undoubtedly, Davis picked up a lot on the floor and (hopefully) took those lessons to his individual work this summer and will blossom into a real star player for New Orleans.
The advice on the floor will last him for about 15-20 years. The advice LeBron James reportedly gave Davis about life off the court will last him a lifetime.
Davis was among the rookies that learned about life off the court at the Rookie Transition Program this week. Getting advice from some of the league's best players in a relaxed setting might have more of an impact though. Especially when you are getting advice like this (h/t Mike Floss of USA TODAY):
King James may have offered the incoming NBA freshman on-court advice, but according to Maggie Gray [of Sports Illustrated], what stuck with Davis most was some off the court insight. Gray tweeted:
@AntDavis23 says the best advice he got from @KingJames and Olympic teammates: watch your money, and watch out for women.
Pretty good advice considering the history of basketball players and their significant others.
The stories of Shawn Kemp and Patrick Ewing are the stuff of legend when it comes to their "relations." Gilbert Arenas was served with alimony papers during a Magic-Heat game two years ago.
Even the most well-intentioned and supposedly upright citizens in the NBA can fall victim.
Dwight Howard came into the league dreaming of changing the NBA logo to include a cross and was very open about his Christianity. A few years into his career, he had a child out of wedlock with a former Magic Dancer. He is, by all accounts, a very good father. But he has been involved in several lawsuits with his former girlfriend to protect his child's privacy as she tried to star on Basketball Wives (you will notice, she is not allowed to say Howard's name in the show).
The money advice is a good one too.
According to a Sports Illustrated article from 2009, the estimate is that 60 percent of NBA players go broke after their playing days are over. Who knows how accurate that number is or whether it has increased or decreased in the three years since. But if you read the article, you notice many athletes tell the same story.
For everything that could be said about LeBron James and his "decision," many NBA players reportedly respect him for how it was handled. James took control of everything. He is in charge of his business decisions and his money and he controls everything. That is the kind of power players want to have. James certainly is not beholden to his entourage, it seems.
Davis probably will never have that kind of league-changing power. But he should make plenty of money. And there will be a lot of temptation for him.
Certainly, Davis has a good teacher to help him — although LeBron has two kids, but with his high school sweetheart and fiance. Life in the NBA is not easy.