The Los Angeles Lakers’ abysmal season came to an end on April 10. Star forward Anthony Davis last played in a game on April 5 against the Phoenix Suns. In that game Davis had 21 points and 13 rebounds in a loss. It’s also the last time he’s shot a basketball, according to Davis. Lakers fans are not pleased.
“I haven’t shot a basketball since … probably like April 5.”
Anthony Davis: "I haven't shot a basketball since probably April 5th." pic.twitter.com/5V7hzptXf8
— 𝙎𝙝𝙪𝙗𝙝 ⁶𓅓 (@OVOLakeShow) June 12, 2022
While probably shocking to Lakers fans who wish Davis was working on his game and getting ready to come back better than ever next season, this isn’t uncommon.
Players often take a month or so off, depending, before they start ramping their activities up again. The body does need time to recover, after all.
Now, since Davis only played 40 out of a possible 82 games this season, a fan might argue how much more rest does he need? All understandable from a frustrated fan perspective, but not seeing the big picture.
In his 10 seasons in the league Davis has played in 604 of roughly 800 available games. That’s about 75 percent, and when you look at it in a vacuum it isn’t bad at all.
The problem is the perception that Davis is always hurt or hurt at inopportune times. He knows what people say about him, and he rejected the idea that he is injury-prone at the end of the season.
“This is what I’ve learned about injuries: Last year when I wasn’t playing, people were saying ‘AD’s giving up on his team. It’s the playoffs. AD has to play. He’s got to play,'” said Davis. “And when I went out there to play, got hurt again, they said, ‘Who was his trainer? Who let him play?’
“So, what the [expletive] do you want me to do?” Davis went on. “When I play, it’s a problem. It’s a problem when I don’t play. At the end of the day, I’ve got to do what’s best for me and how my body feels. And we go from there. I’m not worried about who’s saying what or who thinks this about me because none of them have stepped on the floor and played. And the ones that did play, they should understand. These aren’t little ticky-tack injuries.”
On the one hand you understand Davis’ frustration. He’s a competitor, despite the nicknames he gets from the “Inside the NBA” crew. He doesn’t want to miss games. He wants to get out there and show the kind of player he is.
You don’t get to the NBA and accomplish what he has without ego and self-belief. You know it irks him when they talk about top-10 players in the game and he isn’t mentioned.
On the other hand, he’s got to do something about getting himself in the best possible shape to handle the rigors of an NBA season.
Sports medicine has come a long way in the past 50 years. You see some of the offseason work players do at institutes like P3 Peak Performance, and a healthier Davis is possible.
Perhaps that’s what he’s been doing since April 5? Getting his body right and working on his movements to prevent injuries. That type of work is just as important as on-court skills.