LeBron James has won basically every trophy he possibly could have in his long, accomplished career. But the superstar had not been able to get his hands on the Defensive Player of the Year award. He came closest to winning that coveted hardware in 2013, when he finished in second place with 12 fewer first place votes.
The man who won DPOY that year is none other than Marc Gasol who will join LeBron on the Los Angeles Lakers this season, hoping to help the team his brother once led to back-to-back championships repeat again to start a decade. James, on the “Road Trippin Pod” with Richard Jefferson and Allie Clifton, was hugely complimentary of his new teammates but that didn’t keep her from taking one small jab seven years in the making at the center:
"@MarcGasol has my Defensive POY trophy at his house but that's not here or there." 😂 @KingJames talks about his new teammates on tomorrow night's @RoadTrippinPod at 8 PM on Spectrum SportsNet. 🍷 @RealAClifton @Rjeff24 pic.twitter.com/6dg4hCUFN7
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) December 1, 2020
Obviously, it’s all just jokes from the King at this point but at the time, LeBron made it very known that he believed he was deserving of the award, on top of his MVP trophy that he earned the same year. The snub, if you can call it that, might have been in the back of his mind as he led the Miami Heat to their and his second straight championship.
James’ days of contending for the premier defensive award are over but he showed remarkable ability at his age last season to help the Lakers perform as well as they did on that end. The same could be said for Gasol, who was crucial in the Raptors’ own defensive prowess despite losing Kawhi Leonard. Together, and with that Anthony Davis fella, they’re hoping to replicate the same defense in LA again.