So over the past couple of weeks I have uttered the sentence “Anthony Davis is the best player on the Lakers”. And unsurprisingly there has been a lot of push back from everyone associated with The Front Office along with pretty much everyone else in our friend group. And sure I get it, Lebron is in the final 3 for MVP this season so he has to be the best player in the league, if not at least the best player on his team. WRONG!!!
Lets throw out the fact that he is in year 17 because that has NOTHING to do with how good a player is, it just means that he has been in the NBA for a very long time. Impressive, yes because he is 35, but nothing groundbreaking since we are currently seeing a 35 year old Chris Paul still play at a high level, Kareem at 35 was still putting up 20+ PPG and we saw a 35 year old Michael Jordan win his sixth ring back in ’98. In Kareem’s case this was around the time when it was really Magic’s team, which for arguably the greatest player of all-time is rather normal to have a younger superstar be the best player on the team.
This season Anthony Davis hasn’t missed a beat. He is averaging team best 26 and 9 for the 1 seed Lakers. Actually, points and rebounds don’t do him justice.
Here are all of the stats where Anthony Davis led the Lakers in the regular season.
So in conclusion AD was better at everything with the exception of his teammates making shots after he passed them the ball. Really should be self explanatory that he is better, but it isn’t.
And then people always come back with how much better Lebron is during the postseason, and I’ll give partial credit on that because it is not as much of a runaway for AD. AD has a slight advantage in points, rebounds and a large advantage in blocks. They both average 1.4 steals per game through the first seven postseason games. And Lebron obviously leads in assists per game. However, AD has a massive advantage in PER. AD’s PER through the first seven playoff games is a hair under 36, while Lebron’s is a hair under 30.
And for those people who will argue that he makes more of an impact that stats cannot quantify, please stop. Every single argument with Lebron it always leads to historic stats, but once the stats don’t favor him it doesn’t matter. Well that’s not how that works. You can’t play your way, then when someone is better you cannot take your ball home. Just admit defeat, because AD ain’t going away anytime soon.
By no means does this mean that Lebron is washed, actually far from it. The dude is still probably a top 5 player in the NBA to this day, and personally I cannot wait for the day where he is isn’t. But for now, as long as he is still putting up wild numbers AND for the first time in his career has a player better than him on his roster they will be front runners for the NBA title.