DeMarcus Cousins thinks LeBron James is a reason why Anthony Davis gets so much heat

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Former All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins discussed why he believes his former teammate Anthony Davis receives so much criticism.

Davis is having a solid season for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2023-24 campaign, averaging 24.4 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.4 blocks per game while shooting 55.4 percent from the field.

He’s also been healthy – for the most part – in the 2023-24 season, which is something that the nine-time All-Star has received criticism for in the past.

Cousins believes that playing in Los Angeles and being teammates with an all-time great like LeBron James contributes to why Davis is often the subject of criticism.

“I think it comes with the environment,” Cousins said. “Obviously being teammates with one of the greatest to ever touch – definitely on the Mount Rushmore of players in LeBron James – when things go bad, we all know it’s a list of guys that’s gonna be blamed before it gets to the best player on the team – or one of the best to ever play. And that’s just the environment. On top of that, he plays for the Lakers. They have a tough fan base.”

Cousins pointed out that the fans of the Lakers expect excellence, calling in former Laker Lou Williams to explain.

Williams said there is a major difference between being a Laker and a member of the Los Angeles Clippers.

During the 2019-20 season, even though he was injured, Cousins spent some time as a member of the Lakers. He explained the championship expectations surrounding the franchise, especially with a player like James on the roster.

“You can average 25 and 12, and it still not be enough,” Cousins said. “That’s not enough. It’s championship or bust no matter the season, no matter the roster, no matter the time.

“That’s just the territory that comes with being a teammate of LeBron James, because greatness always comes with him, and the same thing goes with being a Laker. So, I think that plays a huge part in the criticism he (Davis) receives. And it may be a little bit of him not speaking. A.D.’s just not that type of guy.”

Cousins also believes that people feel like they can go at a quiet guy “a lot more” and that could be a reason why Davis receives so much criticism.

Back in the 2019-20 season, Davis came up huge during the Lakers’ playoff run, hitting a huge game-winning shot in the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets and eventually leading Los Angeles – along with James – to an NBA title.

He’s made two All-Star teams since that season, including a selection this season. Davis has been a great complementary player to James, and he and the NBA’s all-time leading scorer certainly trade off nights where they can carry the Lakers offense.

The easiest way for Davis to prove the critics wrong would be by leading the Lakers to a deep playoff run this season, even if they end up in the play-in tournament in the West.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.