Jalen Rose said what many had on their minds on Tuesday night when witnessing what looked like a sour Anthony Davis not celebrating teammate LeBron James in arguably the biggest moment of his career.
The crowd erupted in Crypto.com Arena as James sank a jumper to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA all-scoring record and basked in his accomplishment surrounded by fans, coaches, family and teammates — except Davis who took a seat in the moments leading up to and during the historic moment.
Rose, an ESPN sports analyst and host of The Post’s “Renaissance Man” podcast, was not hesitant to give his take on the player’s reaction on Wednesday.
“I’m not gonna sugarcoat this,” he said on “Get Up.” “It’s one thing that they lost the game. Anthony Davis — it was a big stage game. He didn’t play well… He is a professional, of course he wanted to win. They ended up losing. But there is no way on God’s green Earth you can be sitting down when the greatest record in the history of basketball is being broken. Just as a fan of the game.
“And to drill it down even more, one of your teammates who is LeBron James who you won a championship with in that same uniform,” he continued. “It comes off as petty. It comes off as you’re hating. It comes off as that you’re being jealous of the moment.”
On the night, Davis recorded a mere 13 points, eight rebounds, and two assists, when he has been contributing an average of 26.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists on the season. James capped his night with 38 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. The Lakers fell to Oklahoma City, 133-130.
“Win games. It’s simple. They shot the ball extremely well against our coverage. They made tough shots. We have to win games. It’s very simple,” Davis said postgame.
With Thursday’s trade deadline approaching, questions loom over why Davis would act this way, what it means for the future of the Lakers, and the pair’s relationship — one that has proven to be effective on the court in the past, including the 2020 NBA championship. Rose called Davis sitting, a moment he “ain’t gonna live down.”
“When things like that happen, overarching, you feel like, can they continue to play together? For me, I don’t think they’re going to knee jerk and probably try to trade AD before Thursday,” Rose added. “But that ain’t no long-term relationship when your second-best player Anthony Davis is purposely not celebrating LeBron James in the moment that the entire world is watching. That is a poor look on Anthony Davis.”