first_img Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersBetween his Lakers introduction and the events he’s been the star of for NBA 2K20’s unveiling process this week, Davis has seemed to be in a lighthearted mood. While Davis has come off a little distant at times during his career, he’s spent the week making jokes, telling revealing stories about his interactions with other NBA stars, and generally having a good time.It’s easy to get the sense that Davis, who spent most of the last six months on the trading block in New Orleans, is relishing the chance to dig deeper into his new market. While he previously lived in Los Angeles during the offseason, Davis is now getting the chance to live as a hometown star – which comes with certain new trappings.It’s actually the second time Davis, 26, has been featured on the cover of his favorite video game: The 2K16 packaging featured him alongside Steph Curry and James Harden. But this time, he’s on his own on the cover, donning purple and gold threads.Ronnie Singh, the game’s digital marketing director popularly known as “Ronnie 2K,” said Davis’ trade to the Lakers didn’t directly influence the decision to feature him on the cover. But the prospect that Davis would be more prominent in the league next season certainly helped.“We anticipate the rising stories in the league and the rising players in the league, and you know, we intuitively think about a lot of that kind of stuff,” Singh said. “He just seemed like an obvious choice for us. We were excited about some of the trade things that happened and some of the movement because he’d obviously be more topical.” Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions It’s striking that Davis takes over the 2K20 cover a year after James, who graced the front of 2K19 on billboards all over Los Angeles. In much the same way that Davis is emerging as the top pillar of the Lakers’ organization – General Manager Rob Pelinka noted that the Lakers were excited to build around the 2020 free agent for “many years” – he is also likely to take up some of James’ stage as one of the NBA’s still-emerging commercial stars.Singh said the succession was not intentional. Each cover athlete is chosen independently from year to year. But he acknowledged a certain kind of symbolism between the two.“I think there’s a little intent to that, the passing of the torch,” he said. “LeBron was trying to pass his jersey number to A.D. He was welcoming his fellow star, he was the ‘next.’ We kind of feel the same way.”Davis had apparently not considered that he was following in James’ footsteps until a reporter asked him about it on Tuesday. He scratched his chin thoughtfully.“I had never put that together,” he said. “It might just be destiny for us.” Davis hasn’t explicitly stated that he wanted to come to L.A. for the expansive business opportunities, but he did acknowledge on Tuesday that there are some flowing his way. He also has a role in “Space Jam 2”, the film starring his new teammate LeBron James. He said he wants to keep his business interests relatively personal – indeed, he admitted to owning at least three XBox consoles throughout his house – but added, “yeah, there’s going to be more.”His agent, Rich Paul, was more colorful about the prospect of landing in L.A. in a June Sports Illustrated article. Drawing an analogy between teams in big markets and women he considers attractive, Paul said: “The Lakers are Jennifer Lopez. You don’t want me to date Jennifer Lopez? Give me a reason I shouldn’t date J-Lo!”Even as he becomes a more central figure in the sports business scene in Los Angeles, Davis appears to be taking everything in stride. Singh said Davis was disappointed in his 94 overall rating (out of a scale of 100), making him the seventh-best player in the game that has his face on the front. But even though Davis has been concerned about his rating over the years, Singh said, he’s not confrontational or upset about it.James and the Clippers’ newly acquired Kawhi Leonard have the highest overall rating with 97s. Said Davis: “It seems like LeBron always ends up on top.”Indeed, Davis doesn’t even like to play with his own character. His team of choice in the 2K franchise has been the Spurs when they were led by Leonard. He did, however, take the time to use the video game to see how his likeness looked in different jersey numbers (eventually settling on No. 3), and scrimmaged with the Lakers.He sent one particular highlight – Davis catching a lob from James for a dunk – in a text to James, with the caption: “All year.”“He was very excited about that,” Davis said, laughing.Related Articles Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years On the board, his face looked serious and unflinching – as if carved from a sheet of granite.Standing next to the picture of himself, even in the same posture, the real-life Anthony Davis’ face broke into a craggy grin. Dressed in a ballcap and sweatshorts, the 6-foot-11 Lakers forward didn’t quite carry the same intimidation factor as he did on the cover of the next NBA 2K20 video game – in which he’s the featured star.It might have been the contrast between the two looks of Davis that made the one standing in front of a small group of cameras in Culver City seem childlike, living out a dream that he’s had since he was young.“It feels amazing,” he said. “It’s a kid’s dream come true.” New Lakers big man Anthony Davis, right, plays some NBA2K20 as Ronnie Singh, the game’s digital marketing director popularly known as “Ronnie 2K,” looks on during a launch event for the popular game on Tuesday in Culver City. (Photo courtesy of NBA2K20)New Lakers big man Anthony Davis, right, plays some NBA2K20 as Ronnie Singh, the game’s digital marketing director popularly known as “Ronnie 2K,” looks on during a launch event for the popular game on Tuesday in Culver City. 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