Over the years the basketball world has been looking for the next Michael Jordan, the next special play-making anomaly of Magic Johnson, or the next dominant big man in the mold of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlin, or Shaquille O’Neal. Interestingly enough, there are more unique basketball specimens in the history of the game, like revolutionary power forward Kevin Garnett. The next evolution in the athletic power forward might have already been found.
Superior agility, athleticism, and overall basketball skill are rare traits for a 7-footer that is supposed to live in the paint.
Garnett, and now Anthony Davis, are the exceptions to that rule.
In the past five to six years very few players have come in with the same hype and expectations as Davis. The former No. 1 overall pick for the New Orleans Pelicans came in with the type of hype that could crush some players. Coming out of the University of Kentucky as a freshman, Davis was a household name for his defensive abilities, potential, growth spurt, championship swagger, and “facial hair.”
One major difference between Davis and Garnett over their basketball journeys: Garnett came straight from high school as a raw, 19-year-old, while Davis had a year of seasoning in college. While they were both 19 at the end of their amateur careers, there is no denying the value of a year of competing against the best collegiate athletes in the world.
Davis’ athletic prowess and skill-set is something that has not been seen on a basketball court since Kevin Garnett.
They each have a fluid ability to do things on a basketball court that 7-footers traditionally have never done. Neither plays much with their back to the basket while wearing down opponents in the paint. Rather, they use athleticism and versatility to their advantage, making their opponents come out to the perimeter before putting them on their heels with their explosive quickness.