Anthony Davis On the Rise
*Photo via USA Today
Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and LeBron James, along with many others, have all graced the cover of the NBA 2K videogame series. The stars pictured on the covers display an accurate depiction of who the most notable stars in the game are. Now, Anthony Davis joins that list.
Let’s be clear, Davis is a superstar. He led the league, again, in blocked shots, made his second NBA All-Star Team, the All-NBA First Team for the third year in a row, and was also a second team selection for the NBA All-Defensive Team. To boot, he hit the game winner to send his team to the playoffs. To reward Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans brought in a new coach, Alvin Gentry, and re-signed Davis to a huge contract.
Davis has the potential to be one of the top ten players of all time. The question is, will he live up to the hype? The answer is yes, and here’s three reasons why:
Davis has showed during his time in the Big Easy that he is dependable. There are no rumblings about him being disruptive in the locker room, or not getting along with the rest of the team and his stats are all trending in the right direction. From the 2013-2014 season to the 2014-2015 season, Davis made 100 plus more FG, scored over 200 more points, dropped 40 more dimes, and did all this with only logging an additional 97 minutes. *
Aside from raw physical ability, having an impeccable work ethic is usually what separates the good from the great. Raise your hand if you have read a story about Davis putting in the time in the gym this summer. If you did not raise your hand, let me introduce you to the internet. According to Pelicians.com and Slamonline.com writer Jim Eichenhofer, Davis has added an astounding 12 pounds of muscles over the summer. Let’s not forget that he has been working on his 3-point shot too, although the Oklahoma City Thunder think it’s just fine.
Image courtesy of SLAM ONLINE
Davis has not publically addressed the firing of former coach Monty Williams, but we can only assume that it had his blessing. While Williams might be a great person, he has a long way to go to be a good head coach.
Alvin Gentry, however, was one of the most coveted assistant coaches in the NBA last year. The question was never if he would get offered a job, but when he would get a job. After winning the NBA championship last year, in the midst of celebrating with his team, the Golden State Warriors, Gentry sent a message to Davis, “we’re coming right back here”.
Gentry, of course, almost made it to the finals as a head coach with the Suns. This was his only full season at the helm with Amar’e Stoudemire, too. Stoudemire thrived under Gentry’s tutelage averaging his third highest PPG during his tenure with the Suns. *
Finally, since Gentry’s tenure in Phoenix, he has learned from two of the top coaches in the league in Doc Rivers and Steve Kerr, and coached some of the best players in the league, in Steph Curry, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
In sports there is no such thing as a “sure thing”, but Anthony Davis is about as close as it gets.
*stats courtesy www.basketball-reference.com