Anthony Davis is a 22 year-old NBA player on the verge of becoming a superstar in the league. Various NBA analysts have said that Davis's sealing is limitless. He has the potential to be one of the best NBA player ever. Last season (his third in the league), he averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks. Davis led the New Orleans Pelicans to the 8th seed in the uber-competitive Western conference last season. They ended up losing in the first-round to the eventual champs, Golden State Warriors, but it was a taste of things to come for the Pelicans with Davis at the helm.
Things couldn't look more promising for Davis and the Pelicans in the upcoming 2015-2016 season. That was until the team got hit hard by an injury plague. The Pelicans have essentially lost there starting line up and bench, and have had to make some last-minute signings in order to have a complete roster.
In the Western conference the difference between a couple of games can put a team in or out of the playoffs. There is not a lot of room for error. And unless Anthony Davis takes his game to a whole other level, the Pelicans are going to struggle to win games until they get their players healthy.
This bring me to the Anthony Davis Dilemma. This also could have been the Kevin Love Dilemma until he got traded to the Cavaliers. The dilemma is you have a superstar player on a so-so team. Davis can put up inhuman numbers each game, but if the team is on the fast-track to a non-playoff seed, doesn't it feel like a waste? I'd love to see Anthony Davis back in the playoffs this season, but based on the current state of his team there is a slim chance he makes it.
An aside, unlike tennis, the NBA is a team game. In tennis if you are the best player in the tournament, you have a good chance of reaching the finals. In the NBA, you may be the best player on the court, but if the other guys on your team don't hold their weight, you aren't getting very far.
Coming back to the dilemma. Doesn't it seem a waste of prime talent to have Davis battling for a team whose best shot is an 8th seed in the playoffs? I'd like to see Davis battling in a game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. I'm sure he'd like that also. Unfortunately there is little Davis can do. He signed a lucrative contract and unless he demands a trade he isn't going anywhere.
The broader appeal of this dilemma is to us regular folks. Although most of us are not as good at our craft as Davis is at basketball, a lot of us are quite talented in our respective fields. And yet we may be in an environment where the best we can do is a first-round playoff exit as an 8th seed. It could be because we are not on the right team, the right project, etc. We may be giving away our prime years in a situation that doesn't have a lot of potential.
I don't have advice as to how to get around the dilemma. This post was more about recognizing that such a dilemma exists. Unlike Davis we have more flexibility to change our surrounding environment. To strive to be put in a place where our prime years are utilized to the fullest so that we can reach our highest potential.