The past two results of the league’s Defensive Player of the Year race doesn’t appease Bam Adebayo.
Adebayo believes that he should have won the award in both 2020-2021 as well as the 2021-2022 season.
But upon coming up short in those back-to-back occasions, his eyes are set to finally lock it on the upcoming basketball year.
“I should have won it the last two years and I will win it this year,” Adebayo said in a Miami Heat youth clinic, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
No one can deny how fearsome Adebayo is on the defensive end, but the previous two seasons have featured phenomenal game stoppers that surely deserve the DPOY honors.
In 2021, Adebayo only landed in the 4th spot of the award, losing against Rudy Gobert who won it for the third time. That season, the French big man led the league in defensive rebounds per game (10.1), total defensive rebounds (720), total blocked shots (190) and ranked second in blocked shots per game (2.70). He also anchored his former team Utah Jazz in polishing the third-best defensive rating (107.5), a crucial element of a league-best 52-20 record.
And last season, guard Marcus Smart powered the Boston Celtics to a dominant defensive rating of 106.2 and only allowing the fewest points per game (104.5) against opposing opponents. He also tallied 1.7 steals per game, the 11th highest.
Upon not being named a finalist against Smart, Gobert, and Phoenix Suns wing Mikal Bridges, Adebayo called the nomination snub as “disrespectful.”
“Disrespectful, honestly,” Adebayo said, via Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “I feel like I can do anything that two out of the three can do besides the fact that I can’t teach height. But they all three play on TV more than me, so I would expect that. They get more TV games and they get more exposure. People like to talk about them more. Nobody wants to talk about us. So it’s whatever at that point.”
With the Miami Heat eyeing to go much deeper and be back in the Finals stage since 2020, Adebayo has to remain healthy and walk the talk to finally win the trophy.
Being named as All-Defensive Second Team member for the past three seasons, the 25-year-old cager looks determined to finally make it and gain the best defender tag.