Anthony Davis: No doubt I was returning to Lakers
Anthony Davis said there was no doubt he was returning to the Lakers after re-signing with the NBA champions.
Davis followed superstar teammate LeBron James in extending his contract in Los Angeles, where the All-Star has reportedly signed a five-year deal worth $190 million.
The seven-time All-Star — who helped the Lakers win the NBA title in his first season since arriving from the Pelicans — had opted out of the final year of his previous contract, making him a free agent.
“I just wanted to take the process one day at a time,” Davis told Spectrum SportsNet on Thursday. “Obviously winning the championship with LA was very great.
“The team [general manager] Rob [Pelinka] put together and [team owner] Jeanie [Buss] put together, and [team executive] Linda [Rambis] and all the people in the front office was amazing, and we did something special. Especially with everything going on in 2020.
“I don’t think there was a doubt that I was going to come back, it was just trying to figure out the logistics and what was best for me and my family, and I was able to get a deal done today.
“So I’m excited about that and excited for what [Jared Dudley] calls ‘the Big Three,’ with him, myself and ‘Bron, so it’s going to be a great time.
“We’ve got another great task ahead of us, the team is looking great, guys have been working out, so I’m excited.”
Led by Davis and James, the Lakers claimed their first championship since 2010 after topping the Heat inside the Orlando bubble at Walt Disney World Resort in October amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Davis and James became the first teammates in NBA history to each have 500-plus points and 200-plus rebounds in the same postseason.
The first overall pick in 2012 by New Orleans, Davis averaged 26.1 points in the Lakers’ title-winning campaign — the most by any teammate of James’ when appearing in at least 70 percent of games.
Davis’ numbers rose in the playoffs too, the 27-year-old averaging 27.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists as the Lakers lifted the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
He became the fifth player in league history to shoot 50-40-90 in the NBA Finals (.571 field goal percentage, .421 3-point percentage and .938 free throw percentage), joining Kevin Durant, Chauncey Billups, Penny Hardaway and Magic Johnson.
“In the Orlando bubble, Anthony Davis proved he is one of the game’s most complete and dominant two-way players,” Pelinka said. “Now, Lakers fans get to watch AD continue to grow and lead our franchise for years to come. This is truly a blessed moment for Lakers Nation.”