L.A.

Anthony Davis-to-Lakers talk won’t stop after huge game in LA

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 112-104 on Friday night amid talk of the visitors’ franchise player coming to Hollywood by any means in the coming seasons.

It’s all well-documented information, that of the hot take status. Anthony Davis will be a free agent in the summer of 2020 and is eligible to sign a new supermax deal that can pay him $239.5 million over five years — far more than any other team can offer after this season.

But if Friday’s loss was any kind of insight, there’s one thing to extrapolate.

It’s complicated far beyond the numbers.

Davis scored 30 points, collected 20 rebounds and added five assists in a do-everything type of performance that still left the Pelicans scratching their heads as to how it came to be.

They got solid efforts from Jrue Holiday and former Lakers first-round pick Julius Randle, but Davis was dominant on a night where he wasn’t even feeling well.

For a player in the prime of his career and the clear face of the franchise, that’s got to be debilitating.

So much so, in fact, that it’s got to be difficult for anyone in Davis’ position not to be influenced by what he saw at Staples Center.

The Lakers have a team riddled with young talent and exactly what they need to turn that into a consistent winner — leadership from LeBron James.

The best player in the world is not just a veteran who’s teaching the youngsters. His 22-point, 14-assist, 12-rebound triple-double is indicative of what he’s doing on a nightly basis to have Los Angeles as the No. 4 seed after an 0-3 start to the 2018-19 season.

In a word? Everything.

As LeBron ages (or doesn’t) he’s going to pass the torch to someone. Davis could be the next superstar in Los Angeles, and the potential of that has to play in his mind as he decides how to shape out his future.

Kawhi Leonard, James and Paul George are all players who didn’t stay given the lure of the supermax deal. Davis has his owns reasons to follow their lead.

Friday night’s game was a glaring example of what some of those may be.

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His credits include Yahoo Sports and Bleacher Report, among others.
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