Anthony Davis has taken more than his fair share of criticism during his NBA career. Now, the Los Angeles Lakers star is being called out as a “big flopper” by an upcoming opponent.
Philadelphia 76ers big man Paul Reed shared his unflattering view of Davis prior to their meeting on Monday night.
“He’s a big flopper so make sure I don’t get in foul trouble early by any — I can’t be too aggressive with him,” said Reed at shootaround on Monday. “He’s gonna be flailing so I gotta make sure I stay out of foul trouble.”
Davis, like many other big men in NBA history, has been a lightning rod for critics since arriving in the league with the New Orleans Pelicans franchise for the 2012-13 season. Much of it has been related to his inability to stay healthy and missing so many games throughout his 12 NBA campaigns.
That hasn’t been the case so far this season for the Lakers, with the 30-year-old able to appear in 16 of their 17 games despite multiple appearances on the league’s daily injury report. He is averaging 22.1 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game in helping Los Angeles to a 10-7 record that includes seven wins in the past nine outings.
Davis led the Lakers with 32 points (his season high) and 13 rebounds in their most recent victory, a 121-115 triumph at the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. After that excellent performance, Davis was defended from critics by teammate Austin Reaves, who chastised people who are failing to recognize the effect the eight-time All-Star has on the game.
Those could include Kevin Garnett, who recently compared the much younger star to his 47-year-old self. But at least Garnett is an accomplished former NBA player, league champion and Hall of Famer.
Kevin Garnett on Anthony Davis:
“AD looks 40 years old. When I watch Anthony Davis play, he looks like me.”
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) November 22, 2023
For Reed to call out Davis is something completely different.
The 24-year-old is in his fourth NBA season as a reserve for the 76ers and averaging a little more than 13 minutes per game in 16 appearances. He has averaged 3.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in his 149 NBA appearances.
Davis likely is more worried about dealing with 76ers center Joel Embiid on Monday. It’s not likely that he will garner any more motivation from Reed’s words, but it will be interesting to see if the Lakers star goes out to prove a point with another big performance.