Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo makes his case for why he should have been chosen over Marcus Smart and Rudy Gobert for the Defensive Player of the Year award over the last two seasons.
“I guard 1-5,” Adebayo told Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks of his ability to defend all five positions on the court. “It’s not a lot of us. Me, Draymond [Green], Giannis [Antetoukoumpo]. Who else?”
Adebayo came in fourth place in DPOY voting last year when Smart was chosen, and the year prior when Gobert won the award for a third time. The two-time All-Star argued that the last two winners have clear shortcomings, compared to him. “It has to translate, and I feel like Rudy in the playoffs didn’t translate,” Adebayo explained. “And Marcus Smart guards 1 through 4.”
The topic is explored at the 24-minute mark above and excerpted in this tweet:
“You’re like, I got ’em all,” Rooks said, to which Adebayo responded, “Exactly. That’s the thing that I think, I thought was different between me and them.”
Adebayo is averaging a career-high 21.4 points per game this season, but his rebounds and steals per game averages have taken a slight dip. The Heat have slid to 7th in the Eastern Conference standings after a four-game losing streak, and would play against the Atlanta Hawks in the play-in tournament, if the season ended today.
Check out Adebayo’s full conversation with Rooks up top.