“He’s one of our pillars,” Vogel said. “He’s our present, he’s our future and he’s one of the best players in the world. So obviously he means a lot.”
James said Davis’ situation is a challenge that comes with life as an aspirational contender in the league.
“Who said it would be easy? In the NBA guys get injured. Guys get sick,” James said. “Obviously we know what AD’s meant for this team. Obviously there’s no replacing him. You can’t say you replace what he does, he custom jerseys does everything. But everybody else has got to chip in and be better. We’ll see what happens with his injury and take it from there.”
Davis, who is expected to decline his player option for next season to become an unrestricted free agent, is widely considered a lock to return to the Lakers on a new deal. The six-time All-Star is averaging 27.7 points and 9.5 rebounds in his first season after L.A. traded most of its young core to New Orleans for him.
Good mentor: There’s no question the Panthers need custom uniforms to develop a quarterback for the future, whether Newton is on the 2020 roster or not. The Patriots have a solid history of developing starting-caliber quarterbacks behind Brady, such as Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett and Matt Cassel. There’s no history of the Panthers developing a quality starting quarterback behind Newton. So Brady could hold the job for a couple of years as he tries to reach his goal of playing until he’s 45, and let 2019 third-round pick Will Grier, Kyle Allen or a drafted quarterback develop.
“You’ve got to support these guys, especially on game day,” LaFleur said. “These guys feed off confidence, and reassure them that, ‘Hey, man, you’re going to be all right. Let’s just take a deep breath and get this corrected.'”