The 2020-21 season was a disappointing one for the Los Angeles Lakers. After winning the NBA Championship in the Orlando Bubble, they were unable to find that magic again this season.
The quick turnaround and shortest offseason in sports history eventually caught up with Los Angeles. When healthy, the Lakers looked as dominant as ever. They began the season 21-6 before injuries beset them.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis both missed extensive time because of injuries. James played in 45 games while Davis played in 36. Dennis Schroder also missed time throughout the season.
This offseason will be an important one for the team. Resting up and getting healthy is of the utmost importance. Finding some 3-point shooting help will also be near the top of the organization’s to-do list this summer. Could this also be when we see the start of the changing of the guard in Los Angeles?
During his exit interview, veteran Jared Dudley insinuated that this season could be when Anthony Davis takes the torch from LeBron James.
“We salute him (James),” Dudley said. “People say he’s slowing down, and it’s natural to slow down a little bit. That’s why you have Anthony Davis. That’s where he has to take the torch, and that’s where he will take the torch next year.”
Father Time is undefeated, but James has certainly given him a run for his money. What he accomplished in his age 36 season was impressive, as he still showcased an impressive all-around game. But, this moment was always going to come eventually, which is why the Lakers acquired the then 26-year old Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in the first place.
While LeBron James has shown that he can still carry a team in spurts, this will eventually have to become Anthony Davis’s team. And if Jared Dudley is correct, that shift in leadership could begin as early as this season.