“He admires him too much,” Arenas said. “… But think about it. When you have two stars on a team, no one is handing over the keys, just one is taking ’em. When did Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) hand over the keys to Kobe [Bryant]? Never.”
James, Davis and the Lakers are fresh off arguably their worst loss of the season so far against the Orlando Magic on Saturday. Davis dropped 28 points, 13 rebounds and three assists while James dropped 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists, but the Lakers still lost by 19 points to fall to 3-3 on the season.
The Lakers have had an up-and-down start to the season. On one hand, they already have wins over the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns, two teams that project to be contenders to represent the Western Conference in the 2024 NBA Finals. But they also have losses to the Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings and Magic.
A bright spot for the Lakers so far this season has been the play of Davis. He is averaging 26.3 points, 13.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 42.9 percent from outside the 3-point line in six appearances with the storied franchise.
Davis is in his 12th NBA season and fifth with the Lakers after playing for the New Orleans Pelicans franchise for the first seven seasons of his NBA career. The Pelicans drafted the former University of Kentucky standout with the No. 1 pick back in 2012.
The 30-year-old was traded from New Orleans to Los Angeles in the summer of 2019. The Pelicans received Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and three first-round picks in exchange for Davis.
Ball and Hart are no longer with the team, but Ingram’s stint in New Orleans is still going strong. He is in his fifth season with the Pelicans.
It’s understandable why Davis would admire James too much to snatch the keys from him if that indeed is the case. James is arguably the greatest player in NBA history and still among the best players in the world today at 38 years old.