Vince Carter thinks Anthony Davis’ supreme respect for LeBron James hinders him from taking the reins on Lakers

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Former NBA star Vince Carter believes that Anthony Davis’ respect for Los Angeles Lakers teammate LeBron James has held him back from taking over the team’s offense as the No. 1 option.

Davis and James have won an NBA title together in Los Angeles, but some believe at this point in James’ career that Davis should be the team’s go-to player.

“I think it’s a respect thing,” Carter said. “He respects who and what LeBron James has done in the game, but at the same time, you are allowed to and you should – nothing wrong with you respecting him – but when that guy that you respect is now trying to give you the reins and wants you to take over and be the go-to guy and he can complement you, you should take that as an honor and run with it.”

James is one of the greatest players in NBA history, so it makes sense if Davis doesn’t want to overstep within the Lakers offense. However, Davis is playing some of the best basketball of his career over the last several games, and it may be time for him to demand more in the offense to help the team win games.

The Lakers started the season just 2-10, but they have won five of their last seven games. Over that seven-game stretch, Davis has played in six of the matchups and is averaging 32.0 points, 16.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.8 blocks per game while shooting 63.8 percent from the field.

Those are absolutely dominant numbers, and some of those games came when James was out of the lineup with an adductor strain.

Davis is certainly capable of carrying the Lakers at times, and it’s hard to see James being angry about deferring to his teammate in order for the team to win. James has taken a step back to players before, such as Dwyane Wade on the Miami Heat or Kyrie Irving on the Cleveland Cavaliers, when it was necessary for the team to win.

There doesn’t have to be a clear pecking order for the Lakers on offense, but it would be great if Davis could keep up the same level of aggression for the rest of the season.

James is still having a solid 2022-23 campaign himself, as he’s averaging 25.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 28.9 percent from beyond the arc.

The Lakers are still on the outside of the playoff picture in the Western Conference, but the team could turn things around quickly if James and Davis continue to play at a high level.

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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.