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Anthony Davis Expresses Uncertainty Over Free Agency, But He's Not Leaving The Lakers

After winning his first NBA championship over his eight-season career on Sunday, Davis balked at a question about his future.

Anthony Davis wiped tears from his eyes as LeBron James hugged him from behind. He buried his face in a towel. He danced with his daughter. He drank so much champagne that he couldn't remember a conversation he had with his father an hour earlier.

Then, after winning his first NBA championship over his eight-season career on Sunday, he balked at a question about his future.

"I have no idea," he said. "I don't know."

Davis can become a free agent after the season.

When further pressed to divulge his plans, he sowed seeds of uncertainty.

"I had a great time in L.A. this first year," he said. "This has been nothing but joy, nothing but amazement. Over the next couple of months, we'll figure it out. I mean, I'm not 100% sure."

The Lakers, who just won their record-tying 17th title against the Miami Heat, have a few things to sort out this offseason.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Avery Bradley, JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo have player options. Meanwhile, Dwight Howard, Jared Dudley, Markieff Morris, Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith are unrestricted free agents.

But nothing is as important as Davis's decision.

It's hard to imagine he'd leave.

When he forced a trade to the Lakers last summer, Davis and James vowed to help each other accomplish their goals. Davis, who had never made it past the second round of the playoffs, wanted a ring. James wanted to restore a Lakers franchise with a six-season playoff drought to greatness and win over the respect of its dubious and lukewarm fanbase.

After an unprecedented 12-month season filled with drama, tragedy and uncertainty, their bond grew into a deep brotherhood.

"We're close on the court, but you've got to see us off the court," Davis said. "It's unreal. I'm always at his house. He's always at my house. This is true the entire season. There's no jealousy. No one is envious of each other. Guys don't have personal agendas. We're just two guys who just want to win for various reasons."

Why would Davis walk away from that?

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James guided Davis throughout the season. He kept him even-keeled after subpar performances. He knew when to push him and when to back off. James joked that when Davis's famous unibrow hung low, he knew not to talk to him. They read each other. Respected one another. And they alternated taking over quarters as if they were passing an invisible baton back and forth.

It led to some of Davis's best basketball ever.

He led the Lakers in points (26.1), rebounds (9.3), steals (1.5) and blocked shots (2.3) this season.

Then he dominated in the playoffs. There was the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer of Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets, a shot that Lakers coach Frank Vogel called "an epic moment in NBA history." And the three-pointer with 39.5 seconds left in Game 4 of The Finals that put the nail in the coffin of the Lakers' 102-96 win.

Davis scored 30-plus points seven times throughout the postseason, including a 43-point performance against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. In the first two games of the Finals, he had 34 points and 32 points, respectively.

He was the runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year, which he punctuated with a master class in defensive wizardry in the Lakers' 106-93 win in Game 6 of the Finals, a stunning blowout in which the Lakers led by as many as 36 points behind Davis's steady and implacable patrolling of the paint.

James helped Davis grow.

He believed in him.

"I want AD to be better than me," James said. "AD want me to be better than him. Every single night, every single day. And we challenge ourselves."

Davis declined a four-year, $146 million max extension with the Lakers in January, a move likely designed to help him earn more money as a free agent. He has a $28.7 million player option for 2020-21 or he could choose to sign a long-term extension or he could leave.

But despite Davis's equivocal words Sunday, his future seems locked in.

It was written all over his face as he was overcome by a joy few athletes get to experience.

"I'm a champion," he said. "When I got traded, that's all I wanted was to be a champion, to be able to compete, be able to win. I was able to do that my first year with the Lakers."

That's just too sweet to walk away from.