Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis is offering a succinct response to critics who believe that his style of play is “soft.”
Speaking with Southern California News Group prior to the Lakers’ first playoff game against the Phoenix Suns, Davis bluntly expressed his opinion on the perception that he’s reluctant to mix it up with opponents.
“I don’t give a (expletive) – it’s as simple as that,” Davis said. “If there are people who say that, most of them probably never were in the game. I really don’t care.”
That image crafted by critics relates to issues like Davis’ extended recovery period from a calf injury and his preference to play power forward instead of center.
Davis’ recovery from the calf injury was carefully monitored because of the value he offers the Lakers on the court and was geared toward getting him healthy for another potential deep playoff run.
Lakers assistant coach Mike Penberthy noted that the Lakers wanted to make sure Davis was at full health before he returned and also dismissed the “soft” tag used against Davis.
“Could A.D. play at 95 percent? Sure, Is it worth losing him to injury? No,” Penberthy said. “Is A.D. soft? Heck no. He wants to play every night. But he also trusts us, and there were moments where Ish (Jon Ishop) and I were saying, ‘Bro, this is not the night.’”
Having played a major role in helping the Lakers win their first title in a decade last season, Davis isn’t motivated to prove critics wrong as the difficult postseason ahead continues for the Lakers.
“I have nothing to prove to anyone,” Davis said. “I don’t think I have anything to prove to myself; only being another champion. That’s really it. I want to be able to win multiple championships; this is another opportunity for me to do so.
“For our group, maybe you can add the challenge of being a seventh seed, but as far as trying to prove something to anyone else: I go out every day, compete, and let the chips fall where they may.”
The Lakers’ opener against the Suns takes place on the road on Sunday afternoon.