Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
Anthony Davis is now an NBA champion.
But that’s not how the business of sports works.
It’s not just about can you win a championship, it’s about can you win it again.
The 27-year old big man is an unrestricted free agent now, so while fans and anyone that supports the Lakers are riding high after the team won its first title since 2010, when Kobe Bryant was the franchise cornerstone, everyone wants to know if he’s coming back to defend the Larry O’Brien trophy.
For his part, Davis is trying his best to let his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, handle everything related to his free agency.
“I have no idea,” Davis told Mark Medina of USA Today. “I had a great time in L.A. this year. It’s been nothing but joy and amazement. Over the next couple of months, we’ll figure it out. I’m not 100 percent sure.”
In order to put himself in the best position for negotiations, Davis has to be non-committal. But in the heat of the moment, when celebrating the championship with teammates while drenched in champagne, he was a bit more direct with his intentions.
“We’re gonna run it right back,” Davis said on Quinn Cook’s IG Live.
That would seem to leave no doubt on whether the seven-time All-Star wants to come back to L.A., now it’s up to his agent and team general manager Rob Pelinka to make it happen.
Laker legend and longtime supporter Magic Johnson appears to think that there’s little chance that Davis bolts right now, especially since he gets to play alongside a teammate like LeBron James.
“Anthony Davis now is known across the world because of the platform of the Lakers. Then, him and LeBron [James] next season, they could repeat,” Johnson said on ESPN’S First Take (h/t Chase Hughes of Yahoo Sports). “You don’t want to leave here, and not have a guy like LeBron James playing alongside of you because the same thing that happened in New Orleans would happen to Anthony Davis again.
“They make each other better, and then last but not least, when LeBron retires, he just says, ‘here Anthony Davis, it’s your team now, you go on and lead the Lakers to the next five to six championships.'”
Johnson then got a bit overzealous about the possibilities of bringing additional superstars to play with Davis after James walks off into the California sunset.
“Luka [Doncic] come on to the Lakers, I like that,” Johnson said.
While it may seem farfetched that the Dallas Mavericks‘ new superstar will end up in the Purple and Gold considering the fact that Johnson no longer has a position in the Lakers’ front office, he was one of the first people Pelinka called after winning the championship.
That means that no matter what Johnson is saying, whether on First Take or otherwise, Pelinka is listening.
Jeanie Buss Makes History
There shouldn’t still be a lot of firsts for women as far as accomplishments in American sports in the year 2020, but Jeanie Buss has found one.
After taking controlling interest in the Lakers back in 2017, she is the first female owner to win an NBA championship.
“Laker Nation, I look forward to celebrating with you,” Buss said during the trophy presentation. “Until then, I will bring back the trophy to Los Angeles, where it belongs.”
While the team is still owned outright by the Buss Family Trust, the 59-year-old mogul stepped in to run the organization after a much-publicized battle with her brothers.
Her father, Jerry, had built the Lakers into a powerhouse franchise, winning 10 championships as the owner from 1979 until 2013, when he died of kidney failure at the age of 80.
His son Jim took over as vice president of basketball operations until he was dismissed by his sister in favor of Magic Johnson.
Johnson didn’t work out, but he was instrumental in bringing King James to L.A., and Pelinka put the cherry on top with the trade for AD.
It’s early, but it looks like the Lakers will be in prime position to make another title run next season.
“When I look back at all the different things that have transpired, to be here now is really a testament to the people that I trust the most, which are Rob and Kurt Rambis and Linda Rambis and my younger two brothers, Jesse Buss and Joey Buss,” Buss told Sam Amick of The Athletic. “Jesse is the head of our scouting and has done a fantastic job identifying talent like Kyle Kuzma late in the draft. And Joey Buss, who runs our G-League team, the South Bay Lakers, (where) somebody like Alex Caruso was part of our G-League team and is continuing to develop his game and has now become an important part of this success.
“It’s all those people coming together, with a like mind and a like vision and collaborating and building towards something that was together as opposed to everybody trying to pull the team in whatever direction they thought was right. That’s what this organization is about.”
Snoop Dogg Gets New Lakers Tattoo
While Jack Nicholson may be the Lakers’ most famous and loyal celebrity fan, Snoop Dogg is making a strong case as his rival.
The 48-year old rapper has always been a fan of the Purple and Gold, even during the lean years.
Now that his team is back on top of the mountain, he went the extra mile to celebrate.
The Dogg got a new Lakers tattoo.
In a short video, he explained the new ink, which is on his right forearm.
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
[email protected] gets a tattoo to celebrate the Lakers winning their 17th title 🏆 https://t.co/hxVhPsvyrC
“The tat is done. KB on the bottom, Kobe Bryant. Larry O’Brien championship trophy with the Lakers going through the ball. Gates of heaven up top and it don’t stop. Laker Nation. Thank y’all, Lakers.”
The sentiment behind the permanent artwork is a far cry from his mood last week, when his team lost Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat on a missed three-point shot by Danny Green.
The “Gin & Juice” MC called Green out of his name in a now-deleted Instagram post for missing the potential series-winning shot, but all is good now that they won it with Game 6.
Follow Bleacher Report writer Maurice Bobb on Twitter @ReeseReport