It’s an interesting task to evaluate two distinct eras of basketball greatness by comparing the careers of Pau Gasol and Anthony Davis while they were members of the Los Angeles Lakers. Although both players created a lasting impression on the Lake Show, a closer examination exposes the small distinctions between them.
Here is a breakdown of the careers between Pau Gasol and Anthony Davis as a Laker and which one would rank ahead of the other and why.
Who has a greater Lakers legacy? Pau Gasol or Anthony Davis?
The Lakers won back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010 during Pau Gasol’s significant career with the organization, which lasted from 2008 to 2014. He redefined the power forward position while supporting Kobe Bryant’s dominance with his basketball IQ and great passing skills.
Gasol had an unmistakable influence on the Lakers’ success since he was an integral part of their championship runs and frequently showed his talent on both sides of the floor. Throughout his time with the Lakers, here are his career accomplishments:
- 2 time NBA Champion (2009, 2010)
- 3 time NBA All-Star (2009, 2010, 2011)
- Games Played: 429
- PPG: 17.7
- RPG: 9.9
- APG: 3.5
Gasol was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame, giving him a feather in his cap that Anthony Davis is going to have to wait quite some time to match.
Like Gasol, Davis first joined the Lakers via trade. The star big man requested a trade and took his talents to LA in 2019 to join forces with LeBron James. As a result, he made a name for himself as one of the best big-man in the league. James’ arrival at the Lake Show, aligned with Davis’ debut, and the two pair helped the team win the NBA title in a difficult 2019-2020 pandemic season.
Davis also gave Lake Show a new defensive identity. Throughout his career thus far as a Laker (2019 – current), here are his career accomplishments:
- NBA Champion (2020)
- NBA All-Star (2020)
- All-Defensive First Team
- Games Played: 194
- PPG: 27.3
- RPG: 10.3
- APG: 2.8
- BPG: 1.8
Taking into account the impact that they had on the Lakers organization during their respective eras, Pau Gasol’s tenure as a Laker ranks higher than Anthony Davis’. Gasol’s arrival in 2008 played a significant role in reviving the Lake Show, ultimately leading to back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. In addition, his three all-star game nominations and key roles in championship runs are a testament to his lasting legacy with the Lakers.
While Anthony Davis is undoubtedly a dominant force, Gasol’s championship accomplishments and transformational effect give him the edge in the Lakers’ legacy evaluation. Davis still has five more years to add to his legacy after his recent contract extension, though, so it is likely just a matter of time until he usurps Gasol in the legacy conversation.