It’s hard to fathom that Anthony Davis is flying well under the radar after being the No. 1 pick and getting labeled a franchise-changing talent for the Hornets. But with the Lakers’ domination of the news cycle, fellow rookie Damian Lillard’s remarkable showing for the playoff-contending Trail Blazers and Davis’ three-week injury absence from late November to early December, many have lost sight of the 19-year-old big man. Davis, however, has been every bit as good as his predraft hype suggested and, amazingly, he has even more terrifying potential than advertised.
This is the beginning of something truly special, and the fact that Davis isn’t commanding the NBA world’s attention shouldn’t be mistaken for a lack of relevance. The most powerful force at work here is an innate inaccessibility in the game of a fundamentally weird player. Davis doesn’t mesh with conventional standards of basketball stardom, starting with the fact that he isn’t a go-to offensive option. You can’t feed Davis on the low block, as he struggles with his back to the basket even against undersized players. You can’t really set him up at the elbow, either, because he hasn’t quite worked out all the kinks in his face-up game. There is no spot on the floor that enables Davis to be a scorer in isolation, and thus no means to reinforce his standing as a franchise player in the most obvious and direct way possible.
For many, this notion of a potential superstar without a plainly viable offensive game creates some basketball dissonance.