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The NBA All-Star Game is just more than a month away, and if you ask Anthony Davis, he fully intends on making a ninth consecutive appearance. Davis spoke with Yahoo Sports about the upcoming festivities and his fitness since being sidelined with an MCL sprain for the last month. The 28-year-old said he “feels good.”
“Body’s getting better, knee is getting better,” he added. “I’m just taking it one day at a time. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to step back on the floor and go back to playing the game I love.”
Davis made his All-Star debut in 2014 as a rookie for the New Orleans Pelicans at the team’s home area. Only 21, he was named as a replacement for Kobe Bryant, who was unable to play because of injury.
“I remember just being in locker room, in New Orleans, where I was playing at the time. It was just a great memory,” Davis said. “Even though I was a replacement, to be able to be around those players and that type of talent, it was nothing but fun.”
Three years after his debut, Davis was named All-Star MVP in 2017. It was undoubtedly a career milestone, and the 2020 NBA Finals champion credits his self-confidence for helping him reach that feat.
“You know, someone always told me to never let anyone steal your glory for the game. That always remains my mantra. I always try to have joy and have fun while I’m playing,” he said.
Though revered for his accomplishments at the collegiate and professional levels, Davis is not without his fair share of criticism, mostly from online trolls. Constant condemnation can shrink your confidence over time, but Davis had a fitting response to how he ignores the negativity.
“Everyone has an opinion on something,” Davis said. “Which is fine, I guess this is what social media has come to. But their opinion, I hear it and think, ‘All right, let’s try and take the positives out of it.’ You don’t always have to look at it where it’s a bad thing. A lot of people think they know what they’re talking about but they’ve never played the game before. It’s tough because when you’re on social media and see it, then you feel like you have to respond to it. But I don’t worry about any of that and I just go out and do what I’m supposed to do.”
In the run-up to All-Star weekend, Davis teamed up with Michelob ULTA for the brand’s first-ever NBA team cans campaign. The NBA’s official beer sponsor commissioned four emerging artists to design cans personalized with symbolism and colors unique to 18 teams across the league.
In the Lakers’ case, the “HOLLYWOOD” sign has been replaced with “LAKE SHOW” behind an aerial shot of popular buildings in downtown Los Angeles.
“Their campaigns are always so exciting and so joyful,” Davis said about his partnership with Michelob ULTRA. “The fans make up a lot of the game, as well. Without the fans, players wouldn’t be who they are and without the players, fans wouldn’t be who they are. Michelob ULTRA does a great job of making sure the fans are always involved and the players are being recognized. It’s a great balance.”
Michelob ULTRA’s NBA team cans are available for a limited time at local beverage distributors and arenas in participating markets.