A wise man once told me, a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows others the way. That wise man wasn’t Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans, but is Davis at 20 years old the leader of this team?
Davis has the numbers this season that qualify him as a leader, averaging 20.7 PPG, 10.3 RPG and 3.1 BLKPG. Leaders not only need great stats, but they need leadership skills and I’m not sold on Davis having those skills quite yet.
Not only do I want a leader that goes out every night and out performs his defender, like Davis does. I want a leader to also be a motivator, a good listener, and team player, confident and not voiceless.
I have absolutely seen Davis display these skills in his first two years in the NBA to an extent. For instance, the way Davis has been playing shows his teammates that he is willing to help this team win. We aren’t going to see Davis get in Eric Gordon’s face or even Anthony Morrow’s face and that’s okay. One reason why I don’t think that Davis is a complete leader yet, is because he doesn’t have a leaders voice.
Look at all the great leaders in any sport; they all have a strong voice. This voice doesn’t have to be a barking or screaming voice, but a leader needs to get after his players when they aren’t performing well and Davis doesn’t do that.
Davis doesn’t necessarily motivate by words, but by his play. I really believe that the Pelicans players get motivation from dunks that Davis throws down or shots he blocks. He leads the NBA in blocks, so that has to be worth something. The Pelicans are out of the playoffs as of now with a 22-29 record on the season.
No doubt in my mind that Davis can get this team into the playoffs. Davis is a great listener. Not only does Davis have to listen to Monty Williams and the general manager of the Pelicans (Dell Demps), but to his teammates as well. If he wants to be the face of the franchise, which he will, he needs to accept positive criticism. Don’t just hear your teammates, but listen and understand to what they have to say.
Leaders are also great teammates and Davis is a very good teammate. The best part about Davis is that he is young and young players have to be good teammates to fit in on an NBA roster. Davis has accepted the role of being a good teammate. His ability to carry his team through this rough patch and his ability to make smart decisions is what makes him a great teammate. With that being said the Pelicans roster has good chemistry, but injuries have brought the team down.
Confidence is the greatest trait and if Davis doesn’t have confidence than it’s going to be hard for him to ever become a leader or great player. With the season he is having, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Davis is a very confident player. The way he carries himself on and off the bench shows the fans he is giving it his all to this team.
So, is Anthony Davis a leader? My answer is no, not yet. Davis is an All-Star player this year, but if he wants to become the greatest player of all time, he needs to learn to become a great leader. And don’t worry he’s only 20 years old and on his way to leader status.