October 11, 2020
Los Angeles Lakers
Game 6: Postgame
Los Angeles Lakers - 106, Miami Heat - 93
Q. Toward the end of that game, you walked into the back and LeBron chased after you, and you guys came back out together. In those moments, as you realized you were about to win your first championship, what was going through your mind?
ANTHONY DAVIS: Nothing really was going through my mind. I was just emotional. There was like 25 seconds left. Actually, when I came out of the game, I just started feeling it. About 25 seconds left, that feeling just turned into reality. I was 25 seconds from becoming a champion. I got emotional. It's the type of journey that I've been on, my team has been on, the organization has been on -- it all came just full circle with this championship. So I just got real emotional.
He was bothering me, saying, "You're soft. Oh, you crybaby." I walked to the back, and there was a banner trophy. I kind of grabbed it. Then we walked back out to the court. It was an unbelievable feeling, and just an emotional moment for me.
Q. When you and LeBron first spoke after the deal was official and everything, was he talking championships in those first conversations? Do you remember how he described what you guys would do together and what he was expecting the end result to be?
ANTHONY DAVIS: When I first got traded, we were just talking about trying to figure out the team, the guys that we wanted around us to compete for a championship. After the team was completed, then we started talking about, we got enough to be champions.
It was really after the first couple games of the regular season where we would start rolling -- playing defense, scoring the basketball -- and we realized how great of a team that we are and that we got enough to become champions this year. The entire time here in the bubble, he never let us get too high, never get too low after losses. Just said, one game at a time. And he knows what it takes on both sides, being up in a series and being down in a series and winning.
So we were just able to compete our task. Go out there, go against a hell of a team who made us earn this trophy. They never quit. They fought. They are scrappy. They are some dogs. We're just happy that we all put it together, sacrificed a lot, sacrificed being here for a little over three months.
We said that we're here; we're in the bubble. Some guys couldn't see their families. We've got to make it all worth it. We were able to do that tonight.
Q. LeBron said sometimes he can't even put his finger on it. I know we talked about lack of jealousy and the whole "Step Brothers" thing, but what do you think really makes it work between you two?
ANTHONY DAVIS: Respect. True friendship. Off the court -- we're close on the court, but you've got to see us off the court. It's unreal. I'm always at his house. He's always at my house. This is true the entire season.
There's no jealousy. No one is envious of each other. Guys don't have personal agendas. We're just two guys who just want to win for various reasons. We were able to do it tonight.
And having a team who gets on us. Do [Rajon Rondo], Duds [Jared Dudley], all these guys are in our ear every single game about being great. When you've got a supporting cast like that, who make shots, and big shots for you, it makes our jobs a hell of a lot easier to go out there and just do what we do, knowing that if we have bad games, they pick us up. And if they are playing pretty bad, then we pick them up.
We have a great team who trusts one another. It starts with me and Bron. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. I challenge him. He challenges me. It's not always sweet and smooth, but it gets the job done. You're going to have confrontations and arguments throughout the season to win a championship. We had our fair share. But at the end of the day, we respect one another. We respect what each one is trying to do. I respect his game, he respects my game and we just put it all together.
Q. Frank was up here earlier and said the big reason why he took this Lakers job was he believes in LeBron James. I'm wondering, you've talked about that a little bit yourself, but what has that belief meant in some of the season's biggest challenges, including Kobe, including the bubble, including the games you guys have played?
ANTHONY DAVIS: When you have a guy who has been to the Finals nine times in the last 10 years, it's hard not to believe him. It's hard not to believe that he's not going to get there.
When I got traded, he just had that belief, that we have a chance to win it all. And he makes you believe more with his leadership, with his play, with how he carries himself off the floor, how he keeps it together off the floor. When we're losing, he keeps us together. He's always saying something, whether it's a text, whether it's in the huddle. No matter what it is, he's always encouraging us. The good thing about having a leader like that who can take criticism, who can take guys getting on him -- a lot of people can't do it. It goes from 1 to 15. All of us are able to tell him when he messes up. He accepts it and he doesn't do it again.
We both are able to compete at a high level. Our team is able to compete at a high level. We trusted Frank Vogel's system. He trusted his players. When you have teamwork like that, more than not, you're going to get the job done.
Q. You're a free agent now. What do you think about this offseason? And then what do the next four years, five years of your career look like now that you have "Champion" attached to your name? What does that do for you?
ANTHONY DAVIS: First question, I have no idea. I don't know.
Second part, it's just part of your legacy, to say you're a champion. Not everybody can say that. I wanted to do the same thing in New Orleans. I was there for seven years. You want to go out there and compete for a championship every time you step on the floor. Got close, going to the second round. We thought we had a chance before DeMarcus got hurt.
It just puts a bigger target on your back, honestly. Teams are going to come after you next year, especially when you're one of the top players. Guys want to take out the champion.
The next four or five years, you have to get better and better. I have to keep improving my game and hopefully I can have this feeling again.
Q. For the Laker fans who, I'm sure, would love to hear you say you're not going anywhere, what does "I have no idea" mean, as far as your view on the free agency front. But also with LeBron, you talk about the off-court stuff and being at each other's houses and the depth of that relationship. Where is that now compared to when you came to town? Are you surprised at how deep it's been?
ANTHONY DAVIS: For the first part, I had a great time in L.A. this first year. This has been nothing but joy, nothing but amazement. Over the next couple of months, we'll figure it out. I mean, I'm not 100 percent sure, but that's why my agent is who he is and we'll discuss it and figure it out.
Me and Bron's relationship, we're always close. You guys know that. I got to L.A., he's the first one to text me, congratulate me, invite me to his house. We kind of celebrated then. We've just grown over this past full kind of year, especially here in the bubble, because we were around each other every day. So we were able to really connect off the floor [in a way] that you might not have a chance to do it when you're in L.A. You've got families and other stuff going on. So we really got a chance to really connect off the floor and just learn more about each other.
Learning from him helped me be in these moments. I don't know if he learned anything from me. I mean, he has kind of seen it all, been through it all. But just being around him, the way he acts and the way he leads and the way he enjoys life, being around his family and enjoying the game of basketball, it just pushed me to become a better person and a better player.
Q. How do you look back at this past year, given what happened and the circumstances with your departure from New Orleans, how do you think you've grown this past year?
ANTHONY DAVIS: I think just being around these guys definitely helped. The last, what, two months, maybe, in New Orleans, it was obviously rocky. We were going back and forth at each other and getting booed, and everything like that. I think being there in that moment while I was still part of the team, going out there playing, kind of got me ready for a moment like this the. Obviously, it was a tough environment and tough situation for me. But being to handle all that and withstand all that and bring that same energy and confidence I had, even when I was playing then, to come out here and be with these guys who want nothing but the best for you and want you to win and getting it done, it's a special feeling. It just makes it all worth it. It was tough times, but like I said, I'm a champion. When I got traded, that's all I wanted was to be a champion, to be able to compete, be able to win. I was able to do that my first year with the Lakers.
Q. Two questions for you: First of all, what words did you exchange with your dad after the game? And second of all, all season long, you had been talking about how you wanted to do this for Kobe. How does it feel now having actually done it for him?
ANTHONY DAVIS: I had so much champagne, I don't even remember what I said to my dad. Probably I love him. He's proud of me and I told him this is why we work, this is why we grind. He congratulated me.
For Kobe, I know he's looking down on us super proud. Before the tragedy, he would come to the game and just tell us, "This is y'all year. This is y'all year. Go out and take it." He had a lot of confidence in our team. He had a lot of confidence in our organization to go out there and win it this year. When we brought out the Mamba jerseys, we had a different swag. It sucks that we didn't go undefeated [in the Mamba jerseys], but I know he would rather take this championship than a loss in a Mamba jersey. We miss him, and this is definitely for him.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports