Darvin Ham fires warning shots about LeBron James and Anthony Davis to rest of NBA

Jesse Cinquini
4 Min Read

The start of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2023-24 regular season is almost here. The storied franchise will play Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets on the road on Oct. 24, which is less than three weeks away.

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham recently warned that stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis are as “hungry as ever” this season.

“Just his hunger, he and Bron both,” Ham said when asked if he’s noticed any differences in Davis during training camp. “Our two captains are the most hungry. They understand the moment. They not worried about what happened last year or what next year is gonna look like. They’ve submerged themselves into today, and that’s the way you have to be, especially in this business. It’s a marathon. But they’re hungry as ever. They’re intense. We have our fair share of fun for sure, but there’s not a lot of fooling around or goofing off with this group. They’ve set a great tone for everybody being serious about the work that needs to be put in.”

Davis was selected by the then-New Orleans Hornets with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft after a one-season stint playing college basketball at the University of Kentucky. He averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in 40 games played with the Wildcats during the 2011-12 season.

The 6-foot-10 big man has played for two teams — the now-New Orleans Pelicans and Lakers — across his 11 seasons in the NBA. Davis averaged 25.9 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game for the storied Lakers franchise during the 2022-23 regular season. He also shot the ball with impressive accuracy from the field, seeing as how he converted a career-best 56.3 percent of his field-goal attempts.

Davis’ most memorable series of the 2023 playoffs came against Jokic and the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. He averaged 26.8 points, 14.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game for the series while shooting an impressive 87.5 percent from the free-throw line. But despite Davis’ excellent two-way play throughout the Western Conference Finals, the Nuggets swept the Lakers in four games.

Meanwhile, James was chosen with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft and has played for three teams — the Lakers, Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers — across his 20 seasons in the NBA.

James is 38 years old, but he didn’t show any signs of slowing down a season ago. He averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game with the Lakers during the 2022-23 regular season.

Here’s to hoping that both James and Davis follow up their excellent play during the 2022-23 regular season by playing at an even higher level during the 2023-24 regular season. The Lakers might need big performances from both players if they want to beat the defending champions on their own home floor later this month.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.