Regardless of what happens in 2019 NBA free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers have already made a massive splash this offseason with the Anthony Davis trade.
The deal gives them the second All-Star player they greatly desired to pair with LeBron James and one they can build around moving forward once James’ career begins finishing up.
Much like James, it didn’t take Davis long to make an impact and put the league on notice that he was one of the most talented players to come along in a very long time. Though he hasn’t experienced a ton of playoff success, the plan is for that to change in Los Angeles and James himself is excited to have him on board.
That much became apparent when James put a post on his Instagram of himself and Davis in Lakers jerseys together. In an interview with Arash Markazi of Los Angeles Times, Davis called the post cool, noting how he grew up admiring James and Michael Jordan:
“It was cool,” Davis said. “I always looked up to him. As a kid, [James] and Michael Jordan were the two guys I [admired]. I didn’t get a chance to watch Michael Jordan live, but I watched LeBron a lot after he entered the league and he was the guy that I looked up to.”
This makes a ton of sense as James was the face of the league for the majority of Davis’ formative years growing up. Any kid watching basketball at that time would likely be a fan of James and with Davis growing up in Chicago, Jordan would obviously have a major impact as well.
For Davis, that also manifested itself in his No. 23 jersey, which was worn by both James and Jordan. Davis spoke on the impact that had in him choosing that number:
“Obviously, Jordan wore it and me being younger, watching LeBron, that number just stuck with me. It was definitely exciting to know I had that number to follow Jordan and LeBron, who wore that number as well.”
Davis will get the chance to continue that legacy of the No. 23 as James is reportedly giving up the jersey so he can have it while James will go back to the No. 6.
No one knows what the future will hold for Davis in a Lakers jersey, but regardless of what happens this summer, he and James have the Lakers on the right path back to championship contention.