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The Roar



NBA Double Dribble: Why Anthony Davis is the most frustrating superstar on the planet

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4th May, 2023

Anthony Davis has got everything you’d ever want from a basketballer, except reliability.

It’s a caveat as big as his imposing, yet fragile, frame. 

The LA Lakers star power forward (don’t call him a centre) has the ability to pile on the points against any team in the NBA and the defensive prowess to shut them all down too. 

Golden State were on the receiving end of the full force of the Anthony Davis experience in game one of the Western Conference semi-finals as the 30-year-old dominated a Chase Center arena that also contained two of the greatest players of all time, his Lakers teammate LeBron James and Warriors star Steph Curry. 

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Davis was unstoppable at both ends with a game-high 30 points and 23 rebounds as well as dishing off five assists and swatting away four Warriors shots in the 117-112 triumph.

Going back to his early years at the Pelicans, he has always been a handful for the usually potent Warriors defensive strategies. 


Draymond Green is one of the NBA’s elite defenders but doesn’t have the size to pin Davis down while Golden State centre Kevon Looney has the height but not the agile footwork to keep up.

Davis played a tick under 44 minutes and did not get a breather after a brief break early in the second quarter. It was iron man stuff.

Unfortunately for Lakers fans, such resilience is all too infrequent. 

In his four seasons in La-La Land, he has missed plenty of matches and leads the league in falling to the court, appearing like he’s broken a bone or two and then returning to the fray after a dressing-room interlude. 

He shook off that reputation in his first campaign in LA, playing 62 of 73 matches in the pandemic-addled season. Davis was electric in the post-season bubble, dominating in the playoffs as the Lakers surged to the title – the lack of travel and controlled environment seemed to suit him. 


But in the ensuing seasons he has suited up in 36 out of 72, then to and 56 in the past two years that have been back to the full 82-game schedule. 

And it’s not just the string of injuries that tortures Lakers fans. Davis can go missing in games or simply appear to lack interest. 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 02: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Arena on November 02, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Anthony Davis. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

When you’re on a five-year deal worth $US190 million, you shouldn’t need to be asked to find motivation. There is a perception that some stars get lazy when they are on more money than they’ll ever know what to do with but that should never be an excuse for a player who was voted one of the NBA’s top 75 as part of last year’s anniversary celebrations. 

Lakers coach Darvin Ham extracted every last piece of energy out of Davis and James, who logged 40 minutes with his 38-year-old body, in game one against the Warriors. 

The big question now is will their supreme duo be able to bring that kind of intensity and endurance to game two on Friday and the rest of the series. 

It’s easy to forget that this is a second-round match-up between the sixth and seventh seeds in the West given each team is laden with all-timers. 


(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

But the Warriors are slightly deeper than the Lakers’ trade deadline revamped roster and this series will likely go six games if not the full distance.

Despite being a champion already, Davis has never won defensive player of the year or come close to the MVP award.

The Lakers gave up an enormous trade package to New Orleans so that he could be the franchise’s cornerstone as James gradually diminishes in the twilight of his career.

He recently said he wants to see his No.3 jersey hanging among the retired jerseys in the rafters but to truly cement his legacy and prove that he can be the next name on the Lakers’ long list of bona fide legends, Davis needs to bully the Warriors into submission and then do likewise against Denver or Phoenix in the West finals. 

Or this will just be another glimpse of the game-changing force that Davis should be more regularly. 


Grizzlies maul Brooks as they send him packing

Fresh off their round-one playoff exit to the Lakers despite being the second seed in the West this season, Memphis wasted no time in dumping and dumping on Dillon Brooks. 

The trash-talking forward became an unwanted distraction for the Grizzlies when he baited LeBron James on and off the court but the King had the second-last and last laugh. 

His first chuckle was when the Memphis agitator was ejected in LA’s game-three win after James gave the refs little option but to issue a flagrant 2 foul by collapsing to the floor in exaggerated agony for Brooks’ relatively minor hit to the crown jewels. 

And then he laughed loudest when the Grizz were dispatched inside six games. 

The Grizzlies have informer Brooks he won’t be re-signed an The Athletic’s newsbreaker Shams Charania reported that they told the unrestricted free agent that he would “not be brought back under any circumstances”.


Brooks acted like a clown on several occasions this season, not just in trying to get under LeBron’s skin, but Memphis should be shouldering plenty of the blame for that over their lack of strong leadership when it was happening.

Instead they’ve made him the scapegoat and slaughtered him. 

Brooks, whose form also tailed off as his shooting percentages dipped dramatically, will find another landing spot – he’s the kind of player that rival teams hate but teammates tolerate when they’re on their side, a la Patrick Beverley, Marcus Smart and co. 

Until then, Brooks can have a chat with Lance Stephenson, Stanley Johnson and DeShawn Stevenson in their support group chat about the dangers of messing with LeBron.