LeBron James: Anthony Davis playing through pain shows ‘grit’
Anthony Davis has been playing with a nagging right shoulder issue this season, and a shot to the ribs during the Los Angeles Lakers’ 123-115 win over the Phoenix Suns means the superstar will likely have to deal with another injury in the days to come.
Davis’ determination to play though the pain has impressed fellow Lakers superstar LeBron James, who praised his teammate following Tuesday’s victory.
“He wants to play,” James said of Davis, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “He wants to play, and we just have to pick it up.
“For him, when he’s showing that grit when he’s playing with injuries, there’s no reason for any of us not to be out there as well. He’s been showing everything.”
Hearing of James’ praise, Davis expressed appreciation while pointing out he’ll do his best to stay on the court despite being nicked up.
“Umm, thank you, LeBron,” Davis said. “I just want to play. Like I said, it’s tough for me to lead from the sideline.
“The more I can do on the floor to help this team win, that’s what I try to do. I know what our goal is, I know what we’re trying to build. So the more I can try to stay on the floor, the more steps we move toward our goal.”
Davis put up 24 points and 12 rebounds in the win despite suffering a rib injury in the first quarter that ultimately required a trip to the locker room between the third and fourth quarters for a tape job.
To say Davis has exceeded expectations in his first few weeks with the Lakers would be an understatement. With the Lakers sitting at a Western Conference-best 8-2, Davis has been outstanding, contributing 26.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, good for an eighth-place tie and 13th in the NBA, respectively.
Davis’ status for Wednesday’s showdown with the Golden State Warriors is uncertain, however, with the injuries piling up. While X-rays on his ribs came back negative, Davis is expected to sit out of the tail end of the back-to-back, per Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.