After winning his first NBA championship last season, Anthony Davis has a newfound respect for the Warriors.
The seven-time NBA All-Star joined ESPN's Rachel Nichol's where he shared how trying to repeat for a second title with the Los Angeles Lakers changed his opinion about the Golden State dynasty.
"Everybody wants to be a champion. That’s the toughest part," Davis said. "Now, as a champion, you come out this year and you really appreciate it ... it was tough what they did. That’s very tough to come out and repeat."
The Warriors caught some tremendous flack during the peak of their championship years, specifically when Kevin Durant joined the team in free agency before the 2016-17 season. Golden State would end up winning the Finals back-to-back the next two seasons.
Now, as he and LeBron James aim to bring home a second consecutive championship berth to LA, Davis is understanding just how hard accomplishing that feat is, regardless of who is on the team.
"Even back when [Shaquille O'Neal] and Kobe [Bryant] three-peat, it was tough to see what those guys did, especially when you know you have this target on your back," Davis said. "You’re going to get everybody’s best shot."
The Lakers certainly got the Warriors' best shot already. The two squads faced off mid-January, and Golden State pulled off a shocking comeback, defeating a surging Lakers team 115-113 at Staples Center. It left a rather salty taste in the Lakers' mouths, with Davis saying the team used that loss to motivate them in beating the Milwaukee Bucks in their following game.
The Warriors and Lakers are slated to play again in late February. Golden State will travel back to Staples Center in their penultimate game of the first half of the season, where they will hope to upend the defending champions once again.
And as Davis already knows, they'll be sure to give the Lakers their best shot once more.