In 2012, Anthony Davis was solely 19 years outdated when he was chosen to be half of the Crew USA Olympic crew in London, having been the No. 1 choose within the NBA draft out of Kentucky only a month earlier than the crew started play. He was not initially purported to be half of the crew—he was picked as a substitute after star ahead Blake Griffin needed to again out as a result of of a knee damage. However the expertise linked him with one of the best gamers in Lakers historical past, Kobe Bryant.
Davis’ father, Anthony Davis Sr., instructed ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne that Bryant promised him to maintain a great watch over Davis all through that stint with USA Basketball.
Mentioned the elder Davis: “Once we first acquired there, Kobe came visiting to us and mentioned, ‘Mr. Davis, I acquired your boy with me. I’m taking the younger fella underneath my wing. He’s going in every single place I’m going this entire Olympics.’ And that’s what he did. Wherever Kobe went, Anthony went.”
Bryant did document one of Davis’ most memorable moments from his time in London—the time he met Armenian wrestler Gadzhimurad Nurmagomedov, a relative of MMA star Khabib Nurmagomedov. The 2 shared a typical trait—the trademark unibrow.
Bryant shared the photograph on his Fb web page with the caption, “Battle of the unibrow!!!”:
Anthony Davis Was LeBron James’ ‘Rook’ in 2012
That Olympic crew wound up successful a gold medal, solely getting one scare—a 99-94 win over Lithuania—earlier than reaching the ultimate sport, a back-and-forth win over Spain. Davis performed in seven of the U.S.’s eight video games, scoring 26 factors on 11-for-17 taking pictures.
Eight years in the past throughout that match, Davis recalled a dialog he had with Bryant about what to anticipate when the 2 performed one another. Davis was initially chosen by New Orleans and spent the primary seven years of his profession with that group.
As Reuters famous, Davis instructed reporters, “Kobe mentioned, ‘While you play me, don’t count on to get calls. Even should you contact me a little bit bit, they’re gonna name a foul. So don’t contact me.’”
Davis additionally mentioned that whereas Bryant and Davis Sr. had a dialog about maintaining a tally of the teenaged prodigy, nearly everybody on that crew claimed Davis as, “my rookie.” That included guard Deron Williams—and present Lakers teammate LeBron James.
As Davis put it: “The entire crew all the time name me their ‘rook.’ Like LeBron says, ‘He’s my rook.’ And Deron says, ‘He’s my rook.’ Kobe: ‘He’s my rook.’ All of them take me underneath their wing so I study a little bit bit from every one of them.”
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Anthony Davis-LeBron James Combo linked to Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal
It’s becoming that Davis has had this long-standing reference to Bryant as a result of Bryant has been introduced up greater than as soon as in watching the Lakers demolish the Warmth within the first two video games of the NBA Finals, reminiscent of the way in which the Western Convention champ Lakers of the early 2000s routinely rolled by no matter East patsy was thrown in its manner in the course of the period of Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal dominance. From 2000-2002, the Lakers went 12-Three within the Finals towards the Pacers, Sixers and Nets.
When each Davis (33 factors) and James (32 factors) hit the 30-point mark in Sport 2 of the Finals, it marked the primary time a Lakers duo had completed that in a championship collection since Bryant and O’Neal in 2002.
— USA TODAY Sports activities (@usatodaysports) October 3, 2020
Talking of the comparability to Bryant and O’Neal, Davis instructed reporters, “They each had a aggressive spirit with themselves to will their groups to win. I feel me and Bron are the identical manner.”
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