The Lakers head into the 2022-23 NBA season with high expectations. Though the team knows it has work to do to be seen as contender again, its goal is quite clear: to do much better than last year, when it missed the playoffs. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the pack, Los Angeles hopes it can be possible.
Still, it's safe to say that the Lakers aspirations rely mostly on Davis' fitness. With him healthy, the team won a championship in 2020. On the other hand, the power forward's injuries in the last couple of seasons proved to be a huge blow.
The Lakers failed to overcome AD's injury in the first round of the 2020-21 playoffs, and didn't even make the playoffs with him on the sidelines last season. Therefore, everyone looks ready to follow his lead this year, including LeBron.
Lakers News: LeBron James ready to give Anthony Davis the reins
In a recent interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Davis opened up on his intention to stay healthy and help the franchise get back to prominence this season. Darvin Ham and even James seem to trust in AD to lead the way.
(Via Yahoo! Sports)
"Head coach Darvin Ham will look to utilize the eight-time All-Star as the No. 1 offensive option to aid in minimizing the workload of four-time MVP LeBron James, who is entering his 20th season. Davis said James, 37, has been in his ear about taking over the reins of the team, while the rest of the roster would follow his lead.
“All I can do is lead by my actions,” Davis told Yahoo Sports. “I’m excited for this challenge and what’s ahead. I think we have a great group of guys to get the job done. It’s now about putting in the work.”
The stats prove how impactful Davis has been since joining the Lakers. When injuries didn't stand on his way, he helped the team win a ring. When he was out, the Purple and Gold struggled. Consequently, he is certainly a player to watch this season.