Ever since Anthony Davis helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA championship in 2020, it seems like the world's expectations of him have grown considerably. But the three seasons since have been a mixed bag for Davis, as he's had to battle through a plethora of injury problems that put a cap on just how much he was able to produce on the court.
However, since returning from injury on January 25, Davis missed just three games, with two of those coming on the second night of a back-to-back set. In doing so, Davis helped the Lakers revive their season all the way to an appearance in the Western Conference Finals, a marvelous feat for a team that began the season with a 2-10 record.
Nevertheless, some pundits believe that Anthony Davis has another level to reach. In fact, Kevin Garnett, the 2004 NBA MVP, issued a challenge for Davis to up his game to the level of that of Nikola Jokic's and Joel Embiid's.
“I'm expecting Anthony Davis to be MVP in these next two years or something real s**t,” Garnett said on his KG Certified podcast on Showtime Basketball. “It's time bro. You can't let the Joker in the league and surpass [you].”
“He's going to take the reins of, ‘Yeah, I'm the best player in the league.'”
“Anthony Davis can do everything [Nikola Jokic] can do. He can do everything Embiid can do… I’m expecting him to be MVP, if not this year, definitely next year.”
Kevin Garnett has high expectations for Anthony Davis 😅
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) August 15, 2023
Kevin Garnett then implored the Anthony Davis to give it his all on a nightly basis, especially when the Hall of Fame power forward believes that the Lakers star big man is capable of what Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are doing.
“Anthony Davis can do everything [Nikola Jokic] can do. He can do everything Embiid can do,” Garnett added. “I’m expecting him to be MVP, if not this year, definitely next year.”
Now it's a stretch for anyone to think that Davis' playmaking even belongs in the same universe as that of Jokic's. Embiid's game is certainly closer to that of Davis', although the Philadelphia 76ers star is more of bruising presence on the interior than the Lakers star.
It may be unfair to put the onus on Davis to play like those two, as he is a different player from them. But for the Lakers to reach their goal of winning a championship and receive the most bang for their buck from AD's extension, Davis will have to come through in Kevin Garnett's challenge.