Anthony Davis is not Bill Russell yet. And maybe he never will be. Bill Russell is one of the greatest to ever play the game of basketball, and to even be mentioned in the same breath as a player of that caliber is an honor in and of itself. Following his strong 20-point outpour against Brazil the other night for Team USA, Anthony Davis continues to draw praise as one of the most exciting up and coming stars in the NBA. Davis is starting to move out of the “potential” category and into the “now” category though.
Yesterday on First Take, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless went back and forth a bit on Davis, which brought up the subject of Bill Russell. Smith was ready to go there now…
“This kid is special. Listen, he plays on both ends of the floor. He has continued to develop his jump shot. He’s athletic. He can put the ball on the floor. He’s smart, plus he plays defense. He’s a shot blocker. And even though he’s relatively young in his professional career, as a collegiate– he left a champion. So because of all of that, he has all the requisite skills necessary. He’s humble, yet he’s fiercely competitive. I love this kid’s game. His upside is tremendous. I think New Orleans has something special in him. I think the NBA has something special in him.
I sort of agree with the great Larry Brown when he once compared this kid’s potential to that of Bill Russell. He’s got those kind of skill sets.”
Bayless (shockingly), wasn’t quite ready to say that Davis had reached “special” status yet, claiming that it’s still merely potential and that the fact that his New Orleans team didn’t make the playoffs was a sign that he wasn’t “there” yet.