Stephen A. Believes Anthony Davis, Not LeBron James Needs to Be “Superstar” for the Lakers to Challenge Kevin Durant’s Suns

Published 10/20/2023, 7:30 PM EDT

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The NBA is set to kickstart the new season in a matter of days. While the teams figure out their best combination, pundits have already listed out their picks. Stephen A. Smith is among the most respected voices in the sports world. As per the 56-year-old, the LA Lakers need to make a major change in their leadership. The Lakers are having a subpar preseason and Stephen A.’s advice might be something that finally works for them.

For the last few years, LeBron James has been the face of the LA franchise. However, with him going into his 21st season in the league, the noted journalist believes it is time for him to pass the baton. Stephen A.’s pick for the role? Anthony Davis.

Is it time for LeBron to take a backseat?


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LeBron is now 38 years old and the oldest active athlete in the league. However, the name LeBron James carries a lot of weight and star power. Additionally, the 4x NBA champion is also one of the greatest athletes to ever play the game. So it is given that King James will be in command when the team takes center stage. However, he recently said that teammate Davis is the one who is the face of the Lakers franchise now. Despite that, it is still a common perception that the 38-year-old is the face of the franchise.

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Recently, after the crushing loss of the Lakers against the Phoenix Suns in a preseason matchup, Stephen A. put forth his opinion on their structure. He said that it was now time for Davis to take control of the team and be the “superstar” of the Lakers. Their 100-123 loss against the Kevin Durant-led team exposed the core issue. The 56-year-old has long maintained his stance that LeBron alone cannot take this team to a championship. His proposed solution includes AD taking control of the wheel and guiding the Lakers to victory.


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Whether this take will be considered or not, we’ll know in time. However, expecting the world from LeBron at 38 will be unfair.


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Read More: Having Already Penned Down a Bestseller, LeBron James Teases Yet Another Children’s Book

Stephen A. Smith refutes LeBron James’ claim

On the same First Take episode, the Straight Shooter author was informed of King James’ statement on ‘the face of the franchise’. The 56-year-old was quick to frown upon the take and said that LeBron said it just to say it. Even he knows that as long as 19x All-Star is active in the league, he will remain the face of the franchise that he is with.


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Going by the humungous star power and fame of LeBron, Stephen A. seems to be on point with his take.

Watch This Story: Is LeBron James Playing Tonight Against Kevin Durant’s Suns in the NBA Preseason?


Written by:

Prateek Singh


One take at a time

Prateek Singh is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports, known for his insightful coverage of the league. With a deep passion for basketball fueled by the late Kobe Bryant's championship runs, Prateek has built his writing career on astute analysis and a firm understanding of the game. His transparent reporting and dedication to providing quality content have earned him credibility and respect among readers and industry professionals alike.
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Edited by:

Anuj Jacob