One constant storyline of LeBron James’ short time with the Los Angeles Lakers has been the team’s desire to reduce his workload. The superstar is currently 34 years old and will be entering his 17th NBA season. It’s nearly unprecedented to see a player his age to still be near or at the top of his game. LeBron James himself might know this, as it was reported on Monday by Chris Haynes/Yahoo Sports that when Anthony Davis was traded to the Lakers, LeBron had a request to the Lakers organization:
As soon as the framework for the blockbuster trade was agreed upon with New Orleans in June, James — who will be entering his 17th NBA season — promptly held conversations with higher-ups in the organization and expressed his views on why it’s imperative that Davis becomes the focal point of the team’s offensive identity, league sources told Yahoo Sports
This is huge and somewhat surprising news. LeBron James has been the focal point of every team’s offense he has been on ever since his rookie year with the Cleveland Cavaliers. There was already potential that Davis might overshadow James at times this season, with some wondering if James would be okay with this. If the four-time MVP has stated this to the Lakers’ brass, then it’s safe to say he is fine with it.
He should be fine with it. Anthony Davis is arguably the best player that LeBron James has played with (Kyrie Irving with Cleveland and Dwyane Wade with the Miami Heat also come to mind), and this is also the first time that LeBron James may be playing with a player that is currently better than him.
Davis had this to say regarding James’ request to the team:
“I’ve kind of been a focal-point player my whole career, especially in New Orleans. But first off, to have a guy like LeBron, someone of his caliber, go tell management and ownership and the coaches that he wants me to be the focal point is an honor. I know what comes with that, and that’s a lot of heavy lifting. I want to be able to do that. I think I have the capabilities of doing that. And obviously with the team’s support, it’s going to be a lot easier on me. We have a great team.
Davis’ words should give Lakers fans plenty of confidence moving forward. He appears to understand the weight of James’ endorsement of him and the pressure that it brings. Luckily, AD is arguably a top-five player on the offensive and defensive end, and is almost a perfect choice to be an offense’s focal point alongside LeBron James.