Much has been made about LeBron James and how much he plays as he’s in the middle of his thirties, in the midst of his 17th season. Many believe that he needs to take it down a notch, to prolong his career as long as possible to, hopefully, win more championships. Last year, it was obvious that LeBron wasn’t going to be able to do that if his team had any hope of making the playoffs. Obviously LeBron got hurt on Christmas, which kept him out long enough to completely derail the season when combined with the other injuries that the Lakers’ roster sustained. Now? Now LeBron James has Anthony Davis.
It was talked about a lot going into the season that LeBron James might be letting the Lakers offense run through Anthony Davis, but many were skeptical. LeBron really hadn’t been the second option on a team in his entire career. Would he really decide to do so at this point?
Anthony Davis recently sat down with Shams Charania of The Athletic/Stadium to talk about many things, including LeBron telling Davis himself that he wanted the offense to run through him, not through both of them. Here’s what Davis had to say, exactly:
It was tough on me — I’ve done it in New Orleans, but that’s because it’s like, “You have to”. Now it’s like, “alright, well we’re going to split this 50-50.” When he (LeBron) came over and was like “Nah, this is yours. I’ll play the second guy. We’re going through you.” I was like, “alright…well”. And then it’s the Lakers, so now, “AD’s coming to the Lakers, bigger spotlight, the media is bigger, does AD have what it takes?”
Anthony Davis on believing he would split Lakers option No. 1 duties 50-50 — before LeBron James delivered a message to him. Full @AntDavis23 sit-down for @Stadium coming up. pic.twitter.com/H98DeU2TEL
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 13, 2019
Through ten games, Anthony Davis has attempted 19.1 FGs per game, while LeBron James has attempted 18.7. Davis’ Usage rate is at 29.7%, while LeBron’s is at 29.4%. Both players are currently averaging 35.3 minutes per game. So, maybe that 50-50 split was more likely than LeBron was leading on.
Either way, it’s definitely been a long time since LeBron James has had a true equal on his team in regards to production as well as usage. Honestly, it’s maybe never happened to this extent. Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving come to mind, but both of those players at those times still weren’t putting up comparable numbers to The King.
It’ll be interesting to see if this pace continues with the two superstars, or if it will start leaning more towards Davis. LeBron also might end up forgetting everything he said to Davis before the season, taking over game-after-game as he pleases.
Lakers fans probably don’t care too much, just as long as both players stay healthy and the team keeps on winning.