A.D. says LeBron wants him to be the focal point next season.
Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James has never taken a backseat to anyone during his basketball career, but he appears ready to take on a new role with the Lakers as he enters season 17.
James, who will turn 35 in December, is still fully capable of carrying the load on offense - he averaged 27.4 points with 8.3 assists and 8.5 boards last season. That said, LeBron will now get an opportunity to team up with superstar Anthony Davis, and he's ready to pass the torch to the 26-year old big man.
During a recent interview with Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, Davis revealed that LeBron has told the Lakers staff that he wants AD to be the focal point of the offense. According to Haynes, Davis explained:
“I’ve kind of been a focal-point player my whole career, especially in New Orleans. But first off, to have a guy like LeBron, someone of his caliber, go tell management and ownership and the coaches that he wants me to be the focal point is an honor.
I know what comes with that, and that’s a lot of heavy lifting. I want to be able to do that. I think I have the capabilities of doing that. And obviously with the team’s support, it’s going to be a lot easier on me. We have a great team.”
In addition to being the focal point on offense, A.D tells Haynes that he's gunning for the Defensive Player of the Year Award and has vowed to hold everyone, LeBron included, accountable on that end of the floor.
“I want to be Defensive Player of the Year,” Davis told Yahoo Sports. “I think if I’m able to do that, I can help this team win. The offensive end will come around, but defensively, I want to hold myself, teammates, including LeBron, accountable in order for us to take on the challenge of being the best we can defensively."
In 56 games with the Pelicans last season, Davis averaged 25.9 points, 12 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.4 blocks. The Lakers will open up the 2019-20 season "on the road" against the Los Angeles Clippers on October 22.