Last season, LeBron James missed the playoffs for the first time since Microsoft introduced the Zune, but it wasn’t in spite of the effort he gave the Los Angeles Lakers.
Through 55 games for the Lakers last season, James averaged 27.4 points per game, 8.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game while averaging a career-low 35.2 minutes per game. The only player to match those averages in fewer minutes per game was Giannis Antetokounmpo, the league’s reigning MVP. It may have been a relatively down year for James, but it would have been a career-year for almost any other player.
That being said, James shouldn’t be expected to carry that much of the offensive load in the year of his 35th birthday, and by the sounds of it, he doesn’t plan on doing so if he can help it. During his press conference at Lakers media day on Friday, James told reporters that he wants the team to run the offense through Anthony Davis while Davis is on the floor.
LeBron on running offense through Anthony Davis … pic.twitter.com/cmpuQ70X9h
— Harrison D. Sanford (@HarrisonSanford) September 27, 2019
Davis taking the reins of head coach Frank Vogel’s offense wouldn’t only allow James to give his legs a break, but it would make Davis feel empowered in a new situation. That kind of stuff usually matters to an impending superstar free agent. James has also done a good job of buttering Davis up off the court, and he hasn’t been particularly discrete about it, either.
LeBron on Anthony Davis: “It’s exiting to have such a beautiful young mind and a beautiful young player and leader.”
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) September 27, 2019
Suffice to say, if Davis decided to leave the Lakers for another team next summer, it won’t be due to lack of trying on James’ part.