From the time he left the University of Kentucky, Anthony Davis has been one of the elite talents of the NBA. The world is finally getting a chance to see everything on display in the NBA Finals. Before Davis was ever a possibility for the Los Angeles Lakers, he teamed with Kobe Bryant on the 2012 US National Team his rookie season.
Bryant, heading into his 16th season, took a liking to the 19-year-old. Glowingly, he spoke about the mentorship upon meeting Davis’ parents to start the Olympics, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne:
“When we first got there,” Anthony Davis Sr. told ESPN, “Kobe came over to us and said, ‘Mr. Davis, I got your boy with me. I’m taking the young fella under my wing. He’s going everywhere I go this whole Olympics.’ And that’s what he did. Wherever Kobe went, Anthony went.’”
Some eight years later, Davis and Bryant are connected through Lakers blood. Along with LeBron James, Davis has the chance to bring the franchise their 17th title, the first since Bryant’s 2010 win. A big reason that the Lakers are in this position is largely due to AD’s dominance. Like Kobe before him, he’s gained the confidence of his veterans to power their offense. Rajon Rondo is one of those vets that wants to see him push his performance to the limit:
Rajon Rondo on Anthony Davis: “He’s unstoppable. Before every game, I tell him to score 75 points. He’s fallen short a couple of times, but other than that, his mindset is to go out there and dominate. There’s no one in the NBA that can check him one-on-one.”
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) October 3, 2020
If Davis gets close to this projection, it’s certain that he can add a ring to the rest of his career accolades. Kobe wouldn’t want it any other way.