The dejected look on Anthony Davis captured his frustration. Where he sat captured his extreme limitations.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ starreceived clearance to play in Game 6 of the team’s first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns in hopes to prevent or at least delay postseason elimination. But after missing the second half of Game 4 and all of Game 5 because of a strained left groin, Davis still struggled to defend, attack the rim or even move at all.
So well before the Lakers officially failed to defend their NBA title with a 113-100 loss to the Suns on Thursday at Staples Center, Davis sat on the floor adjacent to the Lakers’ bench with only 6:35 left in the first quarter. He hurt so much that he didn’t even have the strength to sit on the bench.
“It never really felt good, but it was my competitive nature to want to go out and help the team as much as I could,” Davis said. “My body didn’t agree.”
Not only did that add frustration to Davis’ failed efforts both to win his second consecutive NBA title and overcome his latest ailment. It sparked criticism about his extensive injury history.
After Davis missed Game 5, TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley addressed him as “Streetclothes.” After Davis returned in Game 6, Barkley questioned why the Lakers’ medical staff allowed Davis to play.
“I don’t have to prove nothing to anyone,” Davis said. “I’m not going to prove anything to anyone. It doesn’t matter to me. The things that everybody are…