The 2020-2021 NBA season will be Anthony Davis’ 9th year in the league. We predict how it might play out, based on the similar careers of other NBA Greats.
What makes all-time great players great? Championships? Scoring titles? All-Star nods? MVPs? The answer is not so definitive, but having any of the aforementioned on your resume certainly helps make the case.
Anthony Davis already has 7 All-Star appearances, and now with a world championship under his belt, many begin to wonder, what comes next for the Los Angeles Lakers big man?
Now, no two careers are the same, but many share similar trajectories. No one can predict the future, but one can project what could happen based on what others have done before. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 9th season of 3 players with careers similar to AD’s (so far), then based on those, project what he may do in 2020-2021.
Who better to kick us off than AD’s current running mate, LeBron James?
Long before teaming up to form the next great Laker duo, both James and Davis each came into the league as young kids with extremely high expectations. And the similarities don’t end there.
They were both superstars on subpar teams for the first 7 years of their careers. Each left for a new team, either through free agency or via trade, after those seven seasons, and each found themselves playing alongside a bonafide superstar & champion in the latter stages of their prime. LeBron with Dwyane Wade and AD with… well, LeBron.
One could argue that Davis’ 8th year went slightly better than James’, as he came away at the end with a world championship, but we’re not here to discuss who did what better, rather what to expect from AD based on LeBron’s following year.
In Season 8, James and Wade were options 1a and 1b. They reached the finals and lost, leaving them to conclude that something had to change if they wanted to win. The following season, James’ 9th, was the year the team transitioned from Dwayne Wade’s to LeBron James’.
Year 9 saw LeBron absolutely dominate with both the offense being run through him and the defensive tone being set by him. Year 9 was when LeBron took the reins, and the result was a championship and another MVP for James’ mantel.
I think a similar transition will happen this year between Davis and James. It’s easy to forget sometimes that AD is 27 and only beginning to enter his prime. LeBron, who turns 36 this year, will most likely take a decent number of nights off after a historically short offseason.
This provides an opportunity for Davis to lead the team night in and night out. While he did do that this year as well, next year will be his time to shine and take the reins as the Lakers’ Franchise Player.
With the rest of the roster still up in the air, it’s hard to predict any stat lines, but one thing is certain: with the team tailored toward his strengths, expect AD to dominate on both sides of the floor.