Although they aren’t the favorites to win the 2024 NBA championship, the Los Angeles Lakers have a real shot at taking it home when it’s all said and done.
They now have a deep, balanced and well-rounded roster, and it all starts with their superstar duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But although James is the engine of the team, some feel the Lakers’ chances of winning it all rest on the shoulders of Davis.
Former NBA superstar and current Turner Sports analyst Charles Barkley told writer Bill Simmons that “it will all come down to” Davis having an MVP-caliber campaign (h/t The Sports Rush).
“Sometimes, when sports and the games are close, you are like, man, we are close, but the Lakers aren’t. Now, it will be interesting about all the stuff they did; as I said last season, it will all come down to Anthony Davis. If Anthony Davis, as much as I love LeBron, I said last season and two seasons before. The Lakers are not going anywhere if Anthony Davis is not an MVP candidate. The Lakers were lucky to have a great draw in the playoffs, but AD does not have a MVP caliber season; the Lakers are going nowhere.”
James will turn 39 years of age in late December, and the Lakers have been looking to shift more of the offensive burden to Davis over the last few years. But Davis’ annual injuries have interfered with that process.
Still, he had arguably his most productive year this past season, averaging 25.9 points and 12.5 rebounds a game while shooting 56.3 percent from the field. If that isn’t an MVP caliber season, then there isn’t really a such thing as an MVP caliber season.
Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire