Anthony Davis makes promise to LeBron James ahead of 2023-24 Lakers season

Mike Battaglino
4 Min Read

Anthony Davis is saying he plans to not leave it all on LeBron James for the Los Angeles Lakers this season as they make another attempt to win another NBA championship.

Davis looks at the makeup of the Lakers heading into the 2023-24 NBA season and sees plenty of other people who can help out him and James while also saying he hopes to play at an MVP level.

“I feel good, team feels good,” said Davis. “We know we were close — try to get No. 18. I’m thankful for the Lakers to commit to me. I owe it to them to put my body on the line every night. It’s very motivational. It was just of talking – Lakers this. Me and Bron had some conversations like, ‘We can’t wait.’

“We had enough to win, but it’s a lot of motivation. All the talking that’s been going on this summer. We still have our core. Now that we have a full camp, we’ll be really good. A lot of teams forgot about [Christian] Wood, he’s prepared. I’m on myself after every game. Hopefully I’ll be in those [MVP] conversations. Helping the guys out, not leaving it all on LeBron.”

The Lakers by all accounts had a very successful offseason, which included re-signing Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura and adding Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince, Jaxson Hayes and Christian Wood. Davis himself also received a contract extension, as did Jarred Vanderbilt.

Now 30 years old, Davis has played more than 60 regular season games just once in his four seasons with the Lakers and has played just 132 regular season games combined in the three campaigns since they won the 2020 NBA championship.

However, he reportedly is in the best shape of his Lakers career heading into training camp, and Reaves has said he has noticed the improvements Davis has made in his shooting this offseason.

The big man’s desire to help out James in a more significant way lines up nicely with the team’s reported plan to more actively load manage the 38-year-old superstar’s minutes and workload this season. In turn, the late-offseason addition of Wood could prove to be beneficial to Davis’ workload as well, with the 28-year-old reportedly expected to play a “considerable” role.

Reaves is another teammate who is expected to contribute even more after helping the Lakers reach the 2023 Western Conference Finals and playing for Team USA at the 2023 FIBA World Cup this summer.

The Lakers were below .500 for much of last season before a surge led in large part by Davis pushed them into the postseason. This offseason they have built one of the deepest rosters in the NBA, with a collection of high-level complements to him and James. With Davis committing to doing his part and more, it has their players and fans thrilled to start the new season with sights set on an 18th NBA championship.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.