It was a disastrous 2021-22 NBA season for the Los Angeles Lakers. Expected to be among the chief contenders for the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, the Lakers came way short of the goal to win the title. They did not even make the playoffs despite a stacked roster that boasted of Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook.
Still, Davis is optimistic that he and LeBron James can still drive the Lakers into title contention next season, as he spoke a bit about the team’s future following Los Angeles’ season-ending victory over the Denver Nuggets Sunday.
“I think us two can. We’ve shown that we can,” Davis said, conducting a season-wrap news conference before the Los Angeles Lakers played their final game of the season on Sunday. “I don’t know that’s something we just have to reevaluate in the offseason, upstairs, me and him talking about this season and what we would like to see next season and kind of just figure it out.
The Lakers’ campaign could have been much different if Davis stayed healthy. He missed nearly half of the season, playing in just 40 games. He barely made his presence felt for the Lakers during the final stretch of the season, appearing in just 21 of the team’s last 24 games.
James also missed a bunch of games, appearing in only 56 contests. Westbrook, meanwhile, appeared in 78 games but had trouble finding fluidity with the team on the court, something that can be worked on further in the offseason. That said, Davis seems to be convinced that it’s still going to be him and the four-time league MVP James who will have the main keys for the Lakers, who have over $120 million in committed money to the trio in 2022-23 NBA season.
With Davis’ fragility and James’ age slowly catching up on him, the Lakers’ championship window with those two on the roster isn’t looking as wide open as it used to be.