Lakers Star Slams NBA Following Snub From Major End of Season Award

Los Angeles Lakers All-Star center Anthony Davis will never win the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award.

At least, that’s what Anthony Davis thinks.

After missing out on being shortlisted for the honor yet again this season, the 6-foot-10 big man spoke with Dave McMenamin of ESPN quite candidly about his disappointment that he wasn’t named a top-three finalist. This year’s three finalists for the honor are Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert, rookie San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama, and Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.

“I’ll never get it,” Davis told McMenamin. “They’re not giving it to me. The league doesn’t like me. I’m the best defensive player in the league. I can switch 1 through 5. I can guard the pick-and-roll the best in the league, from a big standpoint. I block shots. I rebound. I don’t know what else to do. I’m over it. I’m just going to do what I got to do to help the team win and try to play for a championship. Accolades and individual awards, I’m done with those.”

Anthony Davis LeBron James
DECEMBER 30: LeBron James #23 (C) and Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers react as it’s announced James’ basket is upheld as a two-point basket after review against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the…

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Davis is one of the few only good healthy interior defenders on the Lakers at present, as the team looks to upset the No. 2-seeded Denver Nuggets in the ongoing first round of this year’s playoffs. He remains an impressive offensive player, too. Across a career-most 76 regular season games this year, he posted averages of 24.7 points on 55.6% shooting from the floor and 81.6% shooting from the foul line, plus 12.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.2 steals a night.

In making his case to McMenamin, Davis made a point to relay how versatile and multifaceted he remains as a defender. The league overall does respect him on that side of the hardwood. He’s been named to two All-NBA Defensive Second Teams and two All-NBA Defensive First Teams thus far in his career and seems in line to make another All-NBA Defensive Team one way or another.

“I can block shots, I can help from the weak side, I can switch onto anybody, I can guard the pick-and-roll, I can guard the guard and get back on the big and break up the lob, I can guard the post, I can guard the pindown,” Davis told ESPN. “Whatever it is. Whatever it is defensively, I’m able to do.”

To wit, Davis has led the league in blocks twice. He’s used more as a roamer defensively in this Denver series, while power forward Rui Hachimura split time with Davis in defending Davis’ Nuggets All-Star counterpart at center, two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic.

“So, that’s my ability. My ability defensively is to do everything… I don’t know the standard to win that award,” Davis said, “but my focus is doing the standard for my team defensively and helping us win a championship.”