Rich Paul blasts ‘scripted’ media for calling Lakers superstar Anthony Davis injury-prone

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read

NBA agent and founder of Klutch Sports Group Rich Paul came to the defense of Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, blaming the media for him being called injury-prone.

Paul explained that Davis has gone through “freak situations” that have contributed to the injuries that have kept him out for the lineup for the Lakers in recent seasons.

“Well, I think the first thing is, you’ve got to understand media,” Paul told GQ’s Sam Schube. “And I think the media has the job. Some of it’s scripted, some of it’s based on analytics, some of it’s based on viewership. When you talk about these topics, you see a rise in the viewership. And so the media, as it pertains to any player, but [especially] AD, is going to kick you when you down. Over the last couple years, he’s had some really freak situations. Guy gets pushed into his knee. And then I think the one before that, or the year before that, was a hamstring or a groin, whatever it was. Those are the things that happen when you play the sport. People act like, ‘Oh, he’s just hoping to go out and get injured.’ Or, ‘The guy don’t want to play.’ It’s stupidity at times, but that’s what comes with it. But for me, it’s always been the same as with any guy, especially at that level. There’s no doubt in the talent, and in the ability to play the game at the high level—I think he’s shown that.”

When he’s healthy, Davis is one of the best players in the NBA, and he’s proven it for the Lakers this season. The eight-time All-Star is averaging 27.7 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.2 blocks per game while shooting 59.6 percent from the field.

Davis has appeared in 23 games so far for the Lakers, and he seems well on his way to playing more games than he did in each of the past two seasons.

Los Angeles won the NBA title in the 2019-20 season, which was delayed and shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Davis played an integral role in that title, hitting big shots in the playoffs in the NBA’s Orlando, Fla. bubble.

The Lakers likely thought that they’d be Finals contenders for years to come with Davis and LeBron James paired together, but injuries to both players have led to Los Angeles missing the playoffs once and failing to win a playoff series in the last two seasons.

Davis played in just 76 games across the 2020-21 season and 2021-22 campaign, dealing with varying injuries. As Paul mentions, some of it was unavoidable for Davis, but it didn’t stop him from being labeled as an injury-prone player.

Throughout his entire NBA career, Davis has missed games, playing more than 70 games in a season just two times, both with the New Orleans Pelicans. Still, he had never been out of the lineup for the majority of the season until the last two seasons.

Now, Davis appears to be on a revenge tour for the Lakers, dominating teams in the paint over the last month.

The Lakers have improved significantly since their 2-10 start to the season, and Davis has been arguably the main reason why.

If the four-time All-NBA forward can avoid another “freak” injury, the Lakers should be able to get back in the playoff picture this season.

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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.