http://www.nba.com/2015/news/09/28/anthony-davis-pelicans.ap/index.html?ls=iref:nbahptsMETAIRIE, La. (AP) — Anthony Davis decided to honor his late grandfather this offseason with a new tattoo on his upper right arm.
The artist had plenty or space with which to work, particularly along Davis' bicep, because the New Orleans Pelicans' best player has bulked up.
Davis isn't ready to promise that the additional 15 pounds of muscle will make him even more dominant that he already is, but he is cautiously optimistic.
"I feel great right now. Even just working out, I feel explosive. I feel quick," Davis said Monday, when the Pelicans held they're annual media day on the eve of training camp. "When you start actually going against people and all that, it's a lot different. So I'm going to see how it is during training camp and preseason and go from there."
At the very least, the work he put in this offseason to make his physical stature more imposing has only strengthened his credibility as a leader.
"He works incredibly hard, still, which is pretty cool to see," Pelicans small forward Luke Babbitt said. "He's in the gym early, getting his work in. Mentally, just being a leader, he's really bringing it.
"Our offense is going to run through him. Our defense is going to be depending on him in a lot of ways," Babbitt added. "We'll probably have the best player on the court most nights, with the exception of when we play the Cavs maybe. That's a confidence booster."
Even if the Pelicans know better than to call Davis the equal of Cleveland's LeBron James. They also know that Davis' growth as a superstar gives them the foundation to go deeper in the playoffs than last season's first-round exit at the hands of NBA champion Golden State.
Pelicans general manager Dell Demps said Davis' weight gain - he is now at about 253 pounds - was part of a gradual, multi-year plan aimed at easing Davis' adjustment to changes in his physique while minimizing risk of injury.
"One of his strengths is his speed and quickness and jumping ability, so we didn't want to take anything away from there, but we also wanted to add core strength," Demps said.