Elgin Baylor. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Magic Johnson. Kobe Bryant. Anthony Davis?
While Davis may not quite be on the level of those others yet, Lakers forward LeBron James had nothing but praise for the big man at Lakers media day on Monday, calling him the “face of the franchise.”
“He is the face [of the franchise],” James said. “You look at all these [retired] numbers that surround this facility, all the greats that have come here and AD is one of them.”
For James to be willing to publicly concede that is certainly a glimpse into where his head is going into his 20th season in the NBA.
By and large, James has been his team’s leader and face of the franchise for his entire career, whether in Cleveland (during either of his stints there) or Miami.
James and Davis initially made for a great duo with the Lakers, capturing the 2020 NBA Championship in Davis’ first year in Los Angeles. Injuries slowed the big man down in the next two seasons, but he had a bit of a resurgence in 2022-23, averaging 25.9 points and 12.5 rebounds per game in 56 games. Davis also excelled in the postseason for the Lakers, averaging 22.6 points and 14 rebounds per game in the Lakers’ three playoff series.
The Lakers will open the season on October 24 as they square off with the defending champion Denver Nuggets in Denver.