Anthony Davis says he wants to play all 82 games this season — how long until he sits?

Anthony Davis says he wants to play all 82 games this season — how long until he sits?

Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis is ready to rock and wants all the smoke with the defending NBA Champion, Denver Nuggets, and their MVP Nikola Jokić. Davis also claims to have a goal of playing 82 games this season. Neither of those things are likely to end well for the eight-time All-Star.

“It was just a lot of talking. We get it, y’all won, but me and Bron had some conversations… we can’t wait.”

After all the talking LeBron James and other Lakers did a few years ago after winning their bubble championship, Davis is over the Nuggets talking, and celebrating their title victory. Quite frankly, there isn’t much he can do besides besting Joker and crew on the court when it counts. Opening night, Oct. 24, sounds like there will be lots of jawing and trash talk back, and forth.

This really comes down to Jokić surpassing Davis and taking what was once perceived to be Davis’ spot in the NBA hierarchy. Go back to 2012 when Davis entered the league, and he was supposed to be the next big thing after playing at Kentucky. Joker entered the NBA as a second-round pick with no fanfare or expectations.

Here we are less than a decade later, and Jokić is a two-time league MVP, NBA Champion, and Finals MVP. Davis also has a ring, but he wasn’t viewed as the lead dog pulling that Lakers sled and hasn’t come close to winning MVPs, primarily due to health. Kevin Garnett might be the only person who believes Davis can win the MVP award, but we’ll see how that plays out. AD has struggled to stay on the court, so this goal of playing 82 games feels lofty. It’d be great if he could, but he’s never done it, not even in New Orleans.

The closest Davis has come to playing an entire NBA campaign was back-to-back years (2016-18) with the Pelicans, where he played 75 games both seasons. Over the last three seasons, AD has suited up for 56, 40, and 36 games. The closest he’s come to 82 with the Lakers was during his first year in Los Angeles (19-20) during the pandemic, when they had a four-month hiatus because the country was shut down. LA ended up playing just 71 games that season and went on to win the title in Orlando that fall.

Davis can talk about what he’s done in the offseason and wanting smoke with Joker, but it always comes down to results. In all fairness to Davis, he usually produces when he’s on the court. The problem is he hasn’t been on the court enough the past few years for the Lakers. Not too many people expected them to make a run to the Western Conference Finals last season other than diehard fans. It’s time for Davis to get it on the floor, stay on the court, and show the world who deserves all the recognition, and accolades.

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.