Skip to content

John Calipari on Anthony Davis: “In five years, he could be the best player in the NBA”

Aug 30, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

Fa14_BB_WBF_Images_Ash_ANTHONY_DAVIS_2_32057

It’s been a fun little debate this off-season: When will Anthony Davis become the third best player in the NBA?

I have said before it will happen in the next couple years, but when discussing it on Sirius XM NBA radio former NBA coach and GM Mike Dunleavy said it could happen by the end of this season. He’s that high on Davis.

Kentucky coach John Calipari took that discussion to another level speaking to the USA Today:

When will Davis become the best player overall in the NBA? Calipari said sooner than you mint think.

“Right now, you look at (Davis) and say, ‘Man, in five years, he could be the best player in the NBA,’ ” Calipari said. “And this USA Basketball stuff pushes that date sooner. Again, here’s what it does for him: how to work, new things to add to his game, and confidence like, ‘These are the best in the world, so I’m all right.'”

I know some of you will say: In five years LeBron James will be just 34 and we may only be starting to see some decline in his game.

Or in five years Kevin Durant will be 29 and in his prime — and he’s already the best pure scorer on the planet.

Both are true, as is the fact Calipari is a hype man for his former players.

That doesn’t make him wrong. In five years Davis could (and I think will) be playing on that level, he is that special a player. We’ll see how he develops, but he is about to be the star of this Team USA squad over more experienced guys like James Harden and Stephen Curry. Davis is improving by leaps each season right now.

While NBA owners like to focus on potential injuries and wear-and-tear on their players from this tournament (only because the owners don’t get any money from it, if they did they’d be all for it), the fact is a lot of guys have had career years after coming out of this environment. It’s not the games so much as the high level practices that push guys to improve. The best example was Derrick Rose’s MVP season coming after he was part of Team USA’s gold in this very tournament four years ago.

Davis is going to make a leap again this year, in part because of how he’s been pushed and the confidence he’s gaining from this summer. He is going to propel New Orleans to a new level (maybe the playoffs, although in the West that remains a tall order).

In five years… watch out.

Latest Posts
  1. Timofey Mozgov’s local commercial is an absolute gem (video)

    Mar 26, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

    Indiana Pacers v Cleveland Cavaliers Indiana Pacers v Cleveland Cavaliers

    Timofey Mozgov in a backward jersey? Timofey Mozgov in a backward jersey

  2. Tim Duncan bet on basketball, according to his girlfriend

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:02 AM EDT

    Tim Duncan, Mitch McGary AP

    Spurs big man apparently earned $100 by making 3-pointer against Thunder

  3. Pelicans-Rockets nearly had a very screwed-up ending (video)

    Mar 26, 2015, 10:25 AM EDT

    Anthony Davis, Alexis Ajinca, James Harden Anthony Davis, Alexis Ajinca, James Harden

    Referees miss blatant out of bounds call, clock momentarily stops before restarting

  4. NBA Draft prospect matchups to watch in NCAA Tourament this weekend

    Mar 26, 2015, 9:47 AM EDT

    Northeastern v Notre Dame Getty Images

    The best matchup of the weekend may be Jakob Poeltl vs. Jahlil Okafor.

  5. Report: LeBron James frustrated with Kevin Love for not fitting in

    Mar 26, 2015, 9:08 AM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks

    That might be fair, but what about all Love’s reasons for being frustrated with Cavaliers?

  6. Five Things We Learned in NBA Wednesday: Kevin Love seems to be fitting in just fine suddenly

    Mar 26, 2015, 2:29 AM EDT

    Kevin Love, Zach Randolph AP

    Lionel Messi was hanging out at the most entertaining NBA game of the night.

  7. Chase Budinger and Jordan Clarkson exchange clutch points that harm their teams (video)

    Mar 25, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT

    Jordan Clarkson, Gorgui Dieng AP

    Lakers win and hurt their draft position, Timberwolves win and help theirs

  8. James Harden dunks on Omer Asik and Anthony Davis (video)

    Mar 25, 2015, 10:45 PM EDT

    James Harden, Nick Johnson James Harden, Nick Johnson

    Those are no slouches defending the rim against the Rockets star

  9. Report: Mark Price leaving Hornets for UNC-Charlotte

    Mar 25, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT

    Charlotte Hornets v New York Knicks Getty Images

    Hornets in thick of playoff race, but this chance for Price to become head coach

  10. Dwyane Wade out against Celtics

    Mar 25, 2015, 6:59 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Milwaukee Bucks Getty Images

    Hassan Whiteside and Chris Andersen also out for Heat, Isaiah Thomas returns for Boston

Featured video

Where does Steve Nash rank all-time?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Durant (7172)
  2. K. Lowry (6336)
  3. R. Rubio (5864)
  4. P. George (5704)
  5. A. Davis (5683)
  1. D. Howard (5559)
  2. L. Aldridge (5538)
  3. G. Monroe (5474)
  4. D. Rose (5444)
  5. D. Cousins (5414)