Lakers News: Anthony Davis Doesn’t Understand Not Being Named Defensive Player Of The Year Finalist
Anthony Davis, Lakers
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA recently announced the finalists for regular season awards and somehow Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis did not make the cut for Defensive Player of the Year.

The three finalists for that award ended up being Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat and Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs. While all worthy candidates, it’s hard to say that any make as big of an impact defensively on a nightly basis than Davis while also carrying a big load for his team offensively.

Despite being one of the best defenders of his generation, Davis has not won a Defensive Player of the Year award. A lot of that had to do with health in past years, but Davis played 76 games this season and helped lead the Lakers back to the playoffs with one of the best campaigns of his career.

After learning that he was not named a Defensive Player of the Year finalists, Davis was understandably upset, not understanding why he isn’t being recognized, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

“I’ll never get it,” Davis told ESPN when asked about the award. “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.”

Davis went on to elaborate on what makes his so great defensively that the voters don’t seem to be seeing:

“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.

“So, that’s my ability. My ability defensively is to do everything.”

Davis concluded that he is just going to focus on helping his team win instead of paying attention to individual awards:

“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.”

Davis has every right to be upset about this snub, and it seems that he is taking it personally. With the Lakers needing Davis to be at his best in their playoff series against the Nuggets, perhaps having an extra motivated superstar will be a good thing.

Anthony Davis willing to guard Nikola Jokic if needed

During their series against Denver, the Lakers struggled to contain Nikola Jokic inside in their Game 1 loss. Rui Hachimura was the primary defender on the soon-to-be MVP, but Davis said he is willing to take on that matchup more if it will help his team.

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