A star shoots the DPOY: « It’s a huge lack of respect! »

Marcus Smart is the Defender of the Year in 2021-22, but the end result didn’t please everyone. A star from the East in particular displayed all his spite at having been ignored… The player also gave the reason for this, half-blaming the league and the media.

The battle for the DPOY was particularly tough this year, with a lot of perfectly legitimate candidates including Rudy Gobert, in search of his fourth distinction in the field. The Jazz big man was also one of the finalists, along with Mikal Bridges (Suns) and Marcus Smart (Celtics), but it is the last city that left with the trophy in his handsthe first guard to do so in over 25 years (Gary Payton in 1995-96).

Of course, it’s a huge honor for the Bostonian and it’s also deserved, especially considering his entire career. Nevertheless, some of its competitors may regret having been neglected for reasons that are sometimes somewhat obscure. Gobzilla is obviously one of them, but we can also mention Bam Adebayo (4th of the votes). The pivot of Miami had therefore not finished in the Top 3, but he only learned of it after the counting of the votes. And that visibly pissed him off, as he told the media:

Bam Adebayo furious at being snubbed by DPOY

This is a huge disrespect. I feel like I can do anything two of the three can do, plus, I mean, I can’t sound like I’m squealing, but all three of them play on TV more than me, so I expected that. They have more TV matches and they get more exposure, people like to talk about them more often. Nobody wants to talk about us.

Author of 19 points, 10 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game, the former product of Kentucky is the base of the defense of Floridians, which is part of the gratin of the NBA. Top 4 in percentage of success in shooting opponents and in points conceded, 5th in net defensive rating: the Heat were a real padlock in 2021-22. This also had a big impact on the results of the franchise since it finished at the top of the East with 53 wins for 29 losses.

On paper, the Nigerian of origin therefore has a serious record, which however did not prevent journalists from snubbing him from the podium. It must be said that his stats are not insane for an interior either, his 0.8 against average making particular task against Gobert for example. Moreover, the fact is that only 22 Miami games were scheduled on national air this year, far fewer than for the teams of the other candidates. His frustration is then all the more legitimate.

Bam Adebayo does not hide it, he hoped for much more consideration in the race for the DPOY, in view of his performance and that of the Heat in defense. The pivot will have the opportunity to take revenge next year, if he can maintain his high level of play.

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