NBA Basketball News: ‘The Centerpiece’ – Gilbert Arenas Explains Why LeBron James Needs Anthony Davis To Win the NBA Championship

Published 05/07/2021, 12:00 PM EDT
Apr 24, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) shoots over Dallas Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber (42) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


Anthony Davis made his return to the Los Angeles Lakers very recently. Davis had suffered a calf strain earlier in the season that ruled him out for months. His absence was a major loss for the Lakers, who struggled without him. What made things worse was LeBron James’ injury, but the Lakers are hopeful that they can still contend in the playoffs. One former NBA star explains why Davis will be the key for their title win.

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Anthony Davis has great versatility

Former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas explained why Anthony Davis is crucial for the Los Angeles Lakers‘ success. Arenas explained that Davis is a unicorn, who can do everything at his level, despite his big frame. His skill set is varied for a player of his profile. His versatility also allows players like LeBron James to excel according to their own strengths. Davis and James complement each other’s games very well.

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May 6, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) is defended by LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) and center Ivica Zubac (40) in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Arenas said, “He can shoot the outside shot, he can dribble. He can play the dunker spot, he can post up, he can play iso basketball. So you have an all-around offensive juggernaut. And there’s a reason you can put LeBron, Kuzma, with him, and he can intertwine – ‘Are you guys going to be posting up, I’ll send (from) the three-point line. LeBron, you want to be out? I’ll be in the post.’”

AD needs to become the central figure in LA

Arenas added that Davis’ well-rounded skillset gives the Lakers more freedom and options on the court. Davis can play at several different positions, and guard opposition players of any position as well. However, Davis needs to further grow into his role as the leader of the Los Angeles Lakers. Arenas noted that Davis is getting there, with the greater understanding that he’s showing with his play.

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Arenas said, “So you have a guy who can interchange and interlock in different positions. That keeps your flexibility wide open because of a player who can (play) multiple positions… Winning with AD as the centerpiece, you know he’s growing into that role… He’s understanding that – with me hitting great shots, I still have to make great passes, I still have to make great decisions with the ball in my hand.”

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Can Anthony Davis lead the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA title again? He just suffered another injury during the Lakers’ loss to the Clippers. There is no information about how severe the injury is, but the hope is that he can be fit in time for the next game.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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