With a record of 28-16, the Los Angeles Lakers lost both of their star players, Anthony Davis and Lebron James. The team currently sits in fourth-place in the Western Conference.

Where does the team go from here?

Anthony Davis – Will he return in April?

Anthony Davis has missed 14-straight games due to a right calf injury he suffered back in February. He went for an MRI on February 15th, to see if he ruptured his right Achilles tendon, but the results came back negative. Still, the injury kept Davis out for four-weeks and he is expected to return sometime in April. The question remains, will he come back at all?

Since joining the Lakers in 2019, Davis and fellow teammate Lebron James have propelled the Lakers to becoming one of the best teams in the NBA. Last season during the NBA bubble, the team defeated James’ former team, the Miami Heat to win the NBA finals. What looked like a promising start to the 2020-2021 NBA season might end in a tragic way. Or maybe not if Davis and James return.

Davis has been a force in the NBA since being drafted number-1 overall in 2012. That same year, Davis made the USA National Olympic Basketball team in which he captured another gold medal, and his first as a pro-basketball player. As a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, Davis accomplished many feats, in being a ‘First-team’, ‘All-rookie selection’ in 2012-2013. Then in 2017, Davis made the NBA All-Star game and was selected as the “MVP.” He is the first NBA player to have an NCAA championship, an NBA championship, an Olympic Gold Medal, and a FIBA World Cup.

In 2019, Davis was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers from the Pelicans, who later drafted another Duke University Phenom in Zion Williamson.  He won an NBA championship along with James in his first-year with the Lakers.

Lebron James – When will he Return?

Meanwhile, Lebron James was continuing to do his thing for another year. He was in the running for the League “MVP”. After winning the title in the NBA Bubble, James wanted to get back to work and win another title in his successful career. He and Davis were having great seasons again and were on their way to a second straight NBA title. But suddenly the tables were slowly to turn.

On March 15, during a home game against the Atlanta Hawks, Lebron went down hard on the court in the second-quarter. He was seen holding his ankle in very serious pain. Shortly after that, he hit a corner three, but then called a time-out as he knew right away something was wrong. And that something was a high-right ankle sprain. James then knocked over a chair in frustration and headed straight to the locker room.

Later on he tweeted his feelings about missing significant time. He quoted, “I’m hurt inside and out right now. The road back from recovery begins now. Back soon like I never left.” James has been listed as out indefinitely, but with a severe injury like a hard ankle sprain, it could mean quite a while. If he returns along with Davis, the Lakers will be back in the NBA title running, but as of right now, it looks very bleak.

The Lakers for now will have to reshuffle their lineup and have to find a way to keep the glue together and continue to win without two of their best stars. If they find a way, it would be very impressive, but this could very well shift the NBA‘s balance of power. Will it happen, only time will tell.

Anthony Davis’ Background

Davis was born on Mar. 11, 1993 in Chicago, Illinois, where he attended Perspective Charter School since 6th grade. He ended his freshman season at 6’0″ tall, and by the beginning of his sophomore year, he grew another inch and finished the year at 6’4″ tall.

Davis then entered his junior season at 6’8″ and was fortunate enough to have a quick growth spurt without shooting knee pains. His family considered having him transfer to Hyde Park Academy, which was one of Chicago High School Basketball’s powerhouses. The head coach Donnie Kirksey was quoted as saying, “If you’re good enough, they’ll find wherever you are”. But he did not end up transferring there.

In 2010, Davis was unnoticed by NCAA Division I schools and three-years of Chicago Public league play. A year later in 2011, Davis rose-up and was rated as the #1 player in the class of 2011 by Scout.com and was listed in the ESPN U 100. Davis’ decision came down to four schools; Ohio State, DePaul, Syracuse, and Kentucky. Ultimately, he chose Kentucky to play for head coach John Calipari. It was known from the start that Davis would become another freshman star or as Dick Vitale of ESPN would call him, “A diaper dandy baby!”

While playing for the Wildcats, Davis would put up some unbelievable numbers, and some questioned why he was just another player that was recruited to be a one-and-done by Kentucky. Anywho, Davis averaged 14.2 points along with 4.7 blocks per game. This was back about ten years ago before the game of basketball turned into a shooter’s league. Davis was part of a freshman-five that consisted of Michael-Kidd Gilchrist and Terrance Jones. This crew led by Davis helped Kentucky cruise through it’s competition and win the 2012 NCAA Men’s Division I college basketball tournament. After the season, Davis declared for the draft and was selected #1 overall by the New Orleans Hornets (Now the New Orleans Pelicans).

Lebron James History

James was born on Dec. 30, 1984 in Akron, Ohio. Akron is a city that has a population of over 700,000 people which is considered more of a town than a metropolis. Akron is also where fellow NBA player Steph Curry was born. James has been known as, “the king” for both his basketball career and his media press. He is always available to answer questions to the media and is not afraid to share his opinions on a wide range of topics. James is considered to be one of the greatest NBA players of all-time next to Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls. He has played for three-teams in his career, The Cleveland Cavaliers (twice) the Miami Heat, and currently the Los Angeles Lakers. He has loved every minute of playing basketball, and it started right of out high school.

James attended St. Vincent-Mary high school in Akron Ohio, and the national media already convinced people that he would be a future NBA star. The one question is would Lebron go right out of high school, or go to college for one-year, then declare for the NBA draft? This is still a continuing issue in the league, as now you have the NBA G-League which is a feta program for the NBA. James did declare for the NBA draft right out of high school and was selected #1 overall in 2003 NBA draft. That class featured NBA bust Darko Milicic, fellow NBA star Carmelo Anthony, and now retired NBA star Chris Bosh. James enjoyed a nice seven-year career with the Cavs, but was fed-up with not winning a ring there. Then, this happened…

The Decision

After the 2009-2010 season, James was unhappy that his stardom in Cleveland was ruined by a below average supporting cast and a bad culture within the organization. Cleveland fans are some of the most loyal fans in sports as they were waiting for the city to finally have a professional championship. Because of his instant fame and superstar legacy, James tested the free-agency market. In one of the most memorable, but controversial interviews with the media, it was rare to have such a big superstar like James test the free agency waters, but teams like the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat were bigger markets than Cleveland. Then, on his own ESPN television program, The Decision, James daringly quoted, “I’m taking my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.”

Because of the drama the event caused, James received very bad press coverage from the sports media, especially from the hosts from the NBA on TNT. Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal along with Charles Barkley called out Lebron for leaving Cleveland and said he should have stayed and won a championship as, “the man.”  He drew big criticism from Cavs fans too, as they felt betrayed by James and his decision to damage the great sports fans of Cleveland, Ohio. Some Cleveland fans were so upset, that they were recorded showing videos of themselves burning their James’ #23 jersey’s.  He also drew controversy during an Interview with CNN in which he blamed the entire thing on race. The question is, did it have anything to do with race, or was it that James put this controversy on himself? People are very opinionated nowadays, as well as the news, and sports media. Once a story is out there, you can never take it back. But sometimes, bad press is still press.

Despite having some negative moments surrounding his legacy, James has learned to just continue to be himself and play to win more NBA rings. He won a couple with the Miami Heat, and then made amends in Cleveland by finally earning the city its first professional championship in 2016. The point being is, everything is cyclical. 

While the Lakers are the reigning NBA champions, and really do need both James and Davis to return to the team, this could possibly damage the team and their career’s.

What do you guys think…and  

Where does the team go from here?