After sweeping L.A. during the Western Conference finals, Denver went on to topple the Heat in six games for the NBA finals. The Nuggets went on to hold a raucous championship celebration three days after Game 6, where team broadcaster Vic Lombardi introduced coach Mike Malone as the “Lakers’ daddy“ to a hot crowd roaring in approval.
While many laughed off the viral moment, Davis, still feeling the sting of the West finals, said Monday during the Lakers' media day that neither he nor LeBron James have moved past the jab and plan to use it as fuel for this coming campaign.
“It’s very motivational,” Davis said, per Harrison Faigen of SB Nation. “I mean, obviously KCP [Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope] is my guy so you kind of congratulate him, like ‘you got this one.’ But it was just a lot of like, the talking, and ‘the Lakers dad.' There was just so much of that going on; it was like ‘All right, we get it, y’all won.' But me and Bron had some conversations like, ‘We can’t wait.’”
So Anthony Davis definitely appears to be among the Lakers with a chip on their shoulder about the Nuggets' celebration. This was in response to a question about how their season ended on @SpectrumSN pic.twitter.com/Z3z4QiNWoC— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) October 2, 2023
Davis, an NBA champion with the Lakers in 2020, went on to say that losing to Denver on the verge of another Finals appearance will, obviously, provide extra motivation despite defying the odds in the playoffs.
Still, Davis made sure to mention the taunt, or as he put it, “all the little talking that’s been going around all summer." After he was asked directly if he heard the talk, Davis made it clear that he noticed it.
“Yeah. I’m not on social media, and I heard it,” he told reporters.
With the Lakers and Nuggets still atop the list of contenders, Davis’s remarks will likely create even more animosity between the clubs ahead of their matchups this season and, possibly, next postseason. The two teams first face each other on Oct. 24 in Denver.