JJ Redick hopes to help Lakers star Anthony Davis win legacy-altering award

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the world. JJ Redick wants to help Davis win an accolade to solidify his legacy.
Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans - Play-In Tournament
Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans - Play-In Tournament / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis is one of the greatest players of his generation. A force of nature on both ends of the floor, the five-time All-NBA honoree could retire today and rest comfortably as a lock to one day be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

One accolade is glaringly absent from his résumé, however, and new Lakers head coach JJ Redick hopes to help him win it.

In addition to having five All-NBA nods on his résumé, Davis is also an NBA champion, NCAA champion, and five-time All-Defense selectee. Throw in nine All-Star game appearances, three seasons as the league leader in blocks, and a National College Player of the Year award, and his legacy should be nothing short of all-time greatness.

In an interview with Mike Trudell of NBA.com, Redick directly stated that he wants to help Davis solidify his legacy by helping him win the one award that has eluded him: Defensive Player of the Year.

"I thought Anthony was in fantastic shape this year, and to me, he personally had a really good defensive season. He’s to me one of the five best defensive players in the NBA, full stop. I’d love to coach him when he gets a Defensive Player of the Year. I think he’s that level of defender. We have to be better as a team around him. In terms of schemes, it’s going to be collaborative with our coaching staff, collaborative when we game plan based on analytics and expected shot values about what we’re trying to do."

Few would argue against Davis being a good enough player to win the award, but having a coach who intends to bring that out of him is captivating.

JJ Redick believes Anthony Davis can win Defensive Player of the Year

Davis was named to the All-Defensive First Team in 2023-24 after producing one of the best individual seasons of any NBA player. In addition to anchoring the defensive interior, he ranked No. 1 among centers in three-point field goal contests.

Davis also ranked in the top 10 in the NBA in field goals contested at the rim, and posted the sixth-best defensive field goal percentage in that group.

With averages of 24.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.1 offensive boards, 3.5 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game, Davis stuffed the stat sheet and made an impact in every phase of the game. Unfortunately, the Lakers were unable to step up as a team around him.

Los Angeles ranked in the bottom half of the league in opponent field goal percentage and defensive rating, and ranked an atrocious No. 28 in opponent three-point field goals made.

Redick's goal is to create a scheme that highlights what Davis brings to the table and holds his teammates accountable. It will be essential to Los Angeles' success in 2024-25, as another season in which he's the lone line of defense simply will not yield greater results.

If the team steps up around Davis, it will allow his impact to be felt in an even more profound manner—and the Defensive Player of the Year award could be his.

It's also worth noting that Davis has finished fourth or better in Defensive Player of the Year voting on four separate occasions. He was the runner-up in 2019-20 and placed fourth in 2023-24, making the leap to award-winner more than manageable.

If Davis manages to win the elusive hardware, then his legacy would take yet another leap forward—at the same time that he's looking to score the final 2,283 points to reach 20,000.