The Warriors-Lakers second round series appeared to teeter on its axis late in Game 5, when Anthony Davis exited halfway through the fourth quarter after getting hit in the head by a stray Kevon Looney elbow.
Davis didn’t return to the game after suffering the head injury and left the court in a wheelchair. However, the eight-time All-Star center avoided concussion protocol and is listed as probable for Game 6 with a right foot stress injury on the official injury report.
So, why the wheelchair? ESPN senior writer Ramona Shelburne provided a simple explanation on the Papa & Lund Show Friday afternoon.
“The reason he got in the wheelchair is because the locker room is really far away from where he was,” Shelburne said on Papa & Lund. “You’ve been to Chase Center — the area he was going to his locker was a really long walk.”
Davis has developed a reputation for being brittle. In the past five seasons, he’s only exceeded 60 regular season games played once. He falls to the hardwood several times every game and has been dealing with a foot injury for months.
On TNT’s “Inside The NBA” show, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal appeared to laugh at Davis after the wheelchair incident.
“If he really cared about that, I don’t think he would’ve taken the wheel chair,” Shelburne added. “He would’ve been like looking at it like ‘Oh, I don’t want anyone to see me hurt right now, my teammates will see me.’ Sometimes that matters. I’ll never forget Kobe was going to shoot the two free throws and he walked off the court by himself after the Achilles.”
Davis is averaging 22.4 points and 13.4 rebounds per game against the Warriors so far this series. His presence at the rim as a shot-blocker has frequently turned would-be layups into kick-outs and turnovers.
The Lakers are at home for Game 6 with a 3-2 series lead.
Listen to the full interview above. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Catch Papa & Lund weekdays from 10 – 2 p.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.