Anthony Davis reveals biggest change he’s forced to make for Lakers amid LeBron James’ COVID-19 absence
The Los Angeles Lakers received some brutal news on Tuesday after it was confirmed that LeBron James had tested positive for COVID-19. The four-time league MVP will now be sidelined for at least 10 days, which means that right now, all eyes will be on Anthony Davis.
Not only will LeBron be unable to play for the Lakers but he will also be away from the team throughout his quarantine period. This is much different from when he was dealing with an abdominal injury a while back because, for the most part, James was sitting on the bench during this stretch. LeBron’s presence was still felt by his teammates as he fulfilled his role as the Lakers’ talisman.
Anthony Davis knows that he will now need to step up in a big way for the Lakers. AD has already expressed how this development will serve as a test not only for LA but perhaps more importantly, it will put his leadership skills to the test as well. The eight-time All-Star is indeed capable of filling this void and he is more than willing to do so. As a matter of fact, Davis already knows the biggest change he needs to make amid LeBron’s extended absence:
“[Rajon] Rondo, ’Melo [Anthony], Russ [Westbrook] have all been encouraging me to use my voice because I’m normally a really quiet guy when I’m playing and the only time I really talk is when I get tipped over the edge,” Davis said, via Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “But they’ve been telling me to ‘Use your voice. Use your voice.’”
Davis clearly isn’t the most outspoken player in the locker room but he knows that right now, he needs to be much more vocal. His teammates also understand what AD needs to do for the Lakers and they’ve offered him their full support.
“I’m going to be the guy who speaks his mind whether it’s in the media or the locker room,” Davis said. “But it’s because I’m trying to help the team breathe confidence in these guys. Obviously, I was here when we won the title, so I’m telling them it’s a long season and just using my knowledge and my experience to help these guys out. The good thing about us, we’ve got a veteran group. All these guys already know what we have to do, which is a good thing. Now the younger group, I’m just telling them, ‘We’re OK. Just keep [pushing on].’ We’ve got a lot of guys who know what they’re supposed to do on and off the floor, especially when you’re missing a guy like that.”
The only way Davis is going to be able to encourage and inspire his teammates during this rough spell is if he himself remains confident in his own capabilities as a player and as a leader. AD is saying all the right things here about what needs to be done but as we all know that talking and doing are two very different things. Now, Anthony Davis will need to walk the walk.