They say the best ability for a pro athlete is to be available, but because of that metaphor, Anthony Davis has come under fire for being unavailable for most of the 2021-2022 campaign.
Davis has played 39 games this season, missing more than a month of playing time due to a knee injury he suffered against the Timberwolves. He returned for 10 games before injuring his foot and missing another month and a half after injuring his foot against the Jazz.
The Kentucky product played 36 games during the 2020-2021 season after a short offseason following the Lakers’ 2020 title in the Orlando Bubble. AD reinjured his knee during the first round of the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns.
“This is what I’ve learned about injuries: Last year, when I wasn’t playing, people were saying ‘AD’s giving up on his team. It’s the playoffs. AD has to play. He’s got to play.’ And when I went out there to play, got hurt again, they said, ‘Who was his trainer? Who let him play?’ Davis said per the LA Times.
“So, what the [expletive] do you want me to do? When I play, it’s a problem. It’s a problem when I don’t play. At the end of the day, I’ve got to do what’s best for me and how my body feels. And we go from there. I’m not worried about who’s saying what or who thinks this about me because none of them have stepped on the floor and played. And the ones that did play, they should understand.
“These aren’t little ticky-tack injuries.”
The Brow has gotten the injury-prone label placed on him before arriving in LA. The past two seasons have added more proof to the viewpoint. However, the injuries were possibly more freak accidents. He stepped on the foot of Rudy Gobert while LeBron James accidentally knocked Jaden McDaniel into Davis’ leg.
With just four games left in the regular season, the Lakers (31-47) are two games behind the Spurs for the final spot in the play-in tournament. Davis has averaged 23.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game when he’s been healthy.