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#pounditSunday, May 26, 2024

LeBron James still salty about not winning 1 NBA award

LeBron James in a Lakers jersey

Apr 4, 2023; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts to being called for a foul against the Utah Jazz in the last minute of the fourth quarter at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James has one near-miss in his career that still eats at him.

During the most recent episode of his HBO show “The Shop,” the Los Angeles Lakers star James revealed that he is still upset about not ever winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. James also said he feels he should have won it in 2013.

“That’s the only award I don’t have in my house,” said James. “It kind of stings … It don’t make sense.

“The year I finished second in Defensive Player of the Year Award [in 2013], the guy who won Defensive Player of the Year didn’t even make First Team All-Defense,” James added.

Here is the full clip.

James is referencing then-Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, his future Lakers teammate. Gasol was the DPOY that year but finished on the All-Defensive Second Team behind Tyson Chandler, Joakim Noah, and Serge Ibaka in the frontcourt. But that may have been more so because of a flawed voting system since Gasol definitely deserved the honor as the anchor of a conference-best Grizzlies defense (at the peak of their “Grit N Grind” era).

Still, James, who made the All-Defensive First Team himself that year, might have been the league’s most dynamic and versatile defender at the time. At his athletic apex with the Miami Heat, James prowled the passing lanes like a hyena, drew tough on-on-one assignments on everybody from Tony Parker to Paul George, and even provided rim protection off defensive rotations on bigs like Roy Hibbert and Tim Duncan.

In the end, James will just have to settle for five career All-Defensive First Team selections. But though he is now well past his window to win DPOY, James still has a chance to achieve this feat that he has never done before.

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