Anthony Davis On Why He Chose Not To Have A Message On His Jersey

Melissa Rohlin

Anthony Davis wrestled over whether he should have a social justice message on the back of his jersey for the resumed NBA season in Orlando. 

But ultimately, he decided he wanted to honor his family. 

"I think the name Davis is something that I try to represent every time I try to step on the floor, my family," Davis said Sunday in a conference call. "I was kind of torn between the two. I didn’t know what to decide. Should I have a social justice message or should I have my last name there? I just think my last name is something that is very important to me."

Davis said he will find other ways to fight for racial justice than wearing one of the 29 messages than the NBA and NBPA recently approved. 

The Lakers' two biggest superstars will be among the minority of NBA players who forgo wearing a social justice message on their jerseys. 

LeBron James said Saturday that he chose not to wear a message because "it’s just something that didn't really seriously resonate with my mission," adding that he wished he could've personalized his message.

The Lakers had their first practice Saturday in four months since the season was suspended March 11 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said he wanted to reintroduce the players to movements they hadn't done in a long time, such as defensive slides, 94-foot sprints and live contact. 

Even though the Lakers had an extended layoff, Davis pointed out it's not as though they're starting from square one. 

"The good thing about it is we don’t have to go over a lot of offensive, defensive things," he said. "We can kind of remember from the season. But it’s kind of like starting back into training camp setting just for our bodies, getting our bodies back to playing through contact, getting up and down the floor and getting in basketball shape which is a different kind of shape."

Dwight Howard and Danny Green didn't participate in practice Saturday because of COVID-19 testing glitches, but Vogel said they were cleared to participate Sunday. 

Life in the bubble hasn't been thrilling so far, according to Davis. 

Davis said since the Lakers arrived in Orlando on Thursday, most of the players have stayed in their hotel rooms playing video games against each other. 

Though he added that after the Lakers cleared quarantine on Saturday, Dwight Howard apparently attended a DJ set at their hotel that the NBA organized. 

"Dwight told me he was the only one there," Davis said with a chuckle.