Los Angeles Lakers star forward Anthony Davis has been nicknamed "Street Clothes" by Hall of Fame power forward Charles Barkley for a good reason: the dude tends to miss a bunch of games.
Lakers fans from Inglewood to Irvine emitted a collective groan when the news arrived last night that Davis would be a late scratch from L.A.'s second preseason contest, against the Phoenix Suns at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Low back tightness was given as the reason Davis was sidelined. He looked pretty great in one half of action playing in the team's Monday preseason debut against the Sacramento Kings. Davis notched a double-double in a mere 15:49 minutes of playing time, scoring 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting, plus 11 boards.
After the game Wednesday, a 119-115 overtime loss, head coach Darvin Ham seemed to indicate that the injury was nothing too major. And, to be fair, L.A. is in the preseason doldrums, so there's no real rush to get Davis on the floor. Tonight, for instance, L.A. is going to rest Davis, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and perhaps Patrick Beverley as the Lakers play the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second night of a back-to-back.
"We just got ahead of that, he had a little bit of low back tightness," Ham said, per Mike Trudell of Lakers.com. "We need him to be available (for the regular season). We're just being precautionary."
All this is fairly reasonable. Davis, somehow still just 29, is heading into his 11th NBA season and has been absent more than he's been available for Los Angeles over the course of the last two seasons. Injuries have limited the big man to just 76 of a possible 154 regular season games. The timing of the decision to sit Davis last night is the more ominous issue. If Davis was hurt badly enough that he needed to miss the game, why didn't the team rule him out initially? Why wait until the last second to make the change?