The time is ticking for Anthony Davis. Not in regards to his game but in regards to his stardom. There was a time where everyone was watching Davis closely painting him as the “next one” in the NBA but he hasn’t quite hit that level just yet.
Davis’ career has been plagued with a lot of change and injuries. He entered this organization at the end of the Hornets era which transformed into the New Orleans Pelicans. He also played for two different coaches and a number of teammates who have been in and out of the lineup, including Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon, who were supposed to be big parts of their success, but unfortunately, they couldn’t stay on the court for them to gain any traction. Davis also dealt with injuries of his own. Over a 5-year career, he hasn’t played a full season yet and last year was the most with 75 games played.
These are all factors as to why that leap hasn’t happened yet for Anthony Davis. To add to that, he hasn’t seen much success just yet. During the 2014-2015 season, the Pelicans reached the playoffs but got swept by a dynamic Golden State Warriors team. This was the first and only winning season of Anthony Davis’s career.
It has seemed like many have just forgotten about Anthony Davis. Following that 2014-2015 season was supposed to be the Davis take over but the emergence of Stephen Curry pushed that to the side. Curry won MVP and then became the first unanimous MVP the following season which had all eyes on the Golden State point guard.
Another factor which I believe is hard to ignore is the surge of versatile big men that have hit the NBA. Draymond Green’s stardom rose with the success of the Warriors but other big men were introduced into the league as well. Names like Kristaps Porzingis, Joel Embiid, and Karl-Anthony Towns. While they’re all different in their own rights, this resurgence of so much talent has taken spotlight away from Anthony Davis.
I look at last season and wonder why wasn’t Davis more recognized. It didn’t help that we witnessed historic performances from his NBA comrades but his numbers weren’t that far behind. Anthony Davis had his best season last year. He was ranked 3rd in scoring, 7th in rebounding, 2nd in blocks and averaged a field goal percentage of 50.5%. However, he only received two votes in the Most Valuable Player category and those were two fifth-placed votes.
While I’m not saying Anthony Davis’s career is over or that he has reached his peak but my question is, has that window of superstardom passed for Davis? The rise of Curry and some of his other counterparts have shadowed his stardom. That rise that we were seeing from Davis quickly came to a halt. His numbers have increased but it has gone under the radar.
One thing that could change that is winning which is something the Pelicans haven’t done much of. A full season alongside DeMarcus Cousins could change that. How this pair will mesh together is yet to be determined being that last season was such a small sample size. However, if it translates to wins, maybe we can see Anthony Davis reach that peak superstar level that many expected of him.