Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 at 4:10 pm  |  41 responses

LeBron James ‘Would Love’ to Win the Defensive Player of the Year Award

In addition to his usual mind-blowing offensive numbers, LeBron James has done an outstanding job defensively as well (guarding virtually every position on the floor at some point this season), and he has his eyes set on the award that Dwight Howard has dominated over the last three seasons. (Oh, and of course a little thing called the MVP, for good measure.) From ESPN: “Only two players in league history have won MVP and defensive player of the year awards in the same season. Hakeem Olajuwon was the last to do it following the 1993-94 season. Michael Jordan was first during the 1987-88 season. ‘I would love to do it,’ James said. ‘I take as much pride in defense as I do in offense. And that’s every night. It doesn’t matter what Coach says my matchup is before the game. I know it’s going to be more than that (certain player). And I’ve got no problem with that. It would mean a lot to be considered.’ Discussing his own standing among potential candidates is an uncomfortable conversation for LeBron. He’d almost rather talk about things he’d do differently in handling his decision to leave Cleveland for Miami as a free agent in 2010. So when asked if he believes he should be considered for defensive player of the year, LeBron quickly steered the discussion up the Florida Turnpike toward Howard, who has won it three consecutive seasons. ‘We’ve got a monster in Dwight Howard not too far from (Miami),’ James said. ‘You take him off that team, there’s nothing there. You get to the hole every time. He’s definitely won it for a reason.’ […] Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he spent significant time meeting privately with LeBron last season about embracing the burden he would have to carry in Miami defensively. This season, the communication is less verbal, and sometimes all it takes is a nod between the two. ‘We went through a lot of the ramifications and teaching points last year, so this year it’s much more efficient,’ Spoelstra said. ‘Frankly, we need him to be the most dynamic defensive player in the league for us to be successful. It changes from game to game. Sometimes we need him to be the head of the defense. Sometimes we need him to be the back line, a free safety. He has that type of ability, but also the mindset to do it. Most guys wouldn’t have that mindset or commitment.’ […] And this point also is where LeBron allows his performance to do the pontificating. He has friends lobbying on his behalf. Heat guard Dwyane Wade told the Associated Press last week that he hopes to see LeBron pick up both awards. Wade wants to attend both press conferences for historical value. ‘He’s doing things that probably nobody else in the league has ever been asked to do,’ Heat forward Chris Bosh said of LeBron’s defensive requirements. “I mean, really, who is doing that?’”

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  • smoove

    so is he trying to ask for it in advance??

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Hakeem is the MJ of big men.

  • http://www.slamonline.com the_unknown

    what about being a finals mvp bron bron?

  • quest

    until he moves teams i think they should just name it the dwight howard award because nobody even has a chance

  • http://www.nesn.com/2012/02/kobe-bryant-says-hes-better-than-michael-jordan-second-to-wilt-chamberlain-as-best-nba-player-ever-v.html shutup

    Kareem is the MJ of big men. As good as Hakeem was its tough to put him in the top 3 of all time centers. no particular order Kareem, Wilt, Shaq, Russell were all better than him career wise. It doesnt hurt for Lebron to have ambition , rather see him focus on getting his first ring though.

  • http://slamonline.com Nella

    Hakeem and Jordan were the first players to ever have 200 steals and 100 blocks in the same season. The other was Pippen. Pretty damn impressive. LeBron should be capable of this. I know defense is more than stats but I feel like he should be doing better in that regard.

  • LP

    bro, dont start the big man talk…Hakeem the DREAM…..its really a “to each, it’s own” convo…all had rings, skill…etc etc…Hakeem was GREAT.

  • marxman

    Yeah, this is Bron’s. MVP and DPY. Book it.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    why shouldn’t he win it this year?


    datkid because dwight is averaging an absurd 15.3 rebounds 1.5 steals and 2.3 blocks a game. like quest said this should be renamed the dwight howard award cause he is gonna grab number 4 in a row this season.

  • Guest


    I don’t think he’s asking for it. My guess is that the reporters asked him if he would like to win the defensive player of the year award or what it would mean to him, and he said he would love to win it. Seems like a pretty reasonable answer.

    Look at what he said when they asked him whether he SHOULD win it: “We’ve got a monster in Dwight Howard not too far from (Miami)…he’s definitely won it for a reason.”

    So he clearly respects D-12′s defensive gangsta, and as much as he (understandably) like to win it, he knows that D-12 would be very derserving of the award if he won it.

    Seriously, I wonder if Lebron should just “No comment” every question he gets. No matter what he says, people find a way to twist it into a negative.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I have Hakeem over Shaq and Russell as far as being a player.
    They both won more rings, but Hakeem was more of a beast on both sides of the ball than those two.
    Top three are Kareem, Wilt and Hakeem, in my opinion.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Damn haters just wait for any opportunity to hate!!! Dude was asked a question and he redirected the question towards Dwight as opposed to basking in his own accomplishments. It’s like haters just want him to robotically ignore any question that doesn’t involve a ring or finals MVP. Ridiculous!!! Do y’all watch basketball or Robocop?!?

  • ab40

    i would love to be healthy and playing in Spain right now, but we can’t all get we want now can we.

  • ripslam

    The difference is that LeBron plays on an elite defensive team with other ball-stoppers like Wade, Battier, Bosh, Chalmers, and Joel Anthony. Dwight has to carry an entire team on defense and still averages 15 boards, 2 blocks, and a steal per game. Miami is still a great defensive team without LeBron, while Orlando would be pathetic without D12.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Dwight is Defensive MVP. Easy BOOK IT!!!

  • http://www.blogspot.com LLC#12

    Am I crazy to suggest that defensively, at the 3, Deng possibly pips LeBron? As an aside, who’s the best defensive 2 in the NBA, cause nobody thinks it’s still Kobe, right?

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^Not crazy. Toney Allen.^

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Deng is a beast on D. But I don’t think he can match bron’s defensive versatility. I agree with Tony Allen being the best defensive 2 in the L.

  • Kadavour

    Defense by position: DWIGHT, IBAKA, SEFOLOSHA, GUCCI!, RONDO/Jrue Holiday is right there too, just needs to be more consistent.

  • Kadavour

    Also, MWP has been locking dudes up and discouraging whoever he’s been guarding down the stretch of games.

  • http://www.nesn.com/2012/02/kobe-bryant-says-hes-better-than-michael-jordan-second-to-wilt-chamberlain-as-best-nba-player-ever-v.html shutup

    I think Shaq is underrated as a defender, he intimidated alot more shots than he blocked. I’m not taking anything away from Dream he is one of my all-time favorites. But Shaq won more and was a game changer for more years, maybe due to the fact that the league was thinning out of the dominant centers, but Shaq cant be held back because of that, in fact with the league going in the direction it has gone he probably would have done better when more contact was allowed (less offensive fouls at least) and Dream would be better suited for todays game with his athletic ability and finesse. I just think top three has to be given to Wilt (the greatest scorer ever) Kareem (ask Jtaylor, too much to type) and Russell (the greatest defender/winner ever) and between Shaq and Olajuwan Shaq has more rings like you said, but I’m not mad at those that put Dream higher than Shaq. On a different note the article on Russell is an enlightening read; all should check it out.

  • Kadavour

    my 4th quarter DPOY is def MWP. he’s consistently taken his man out of the game come 4th quarter

  • trueballer4life

    the big dipper was a true freak of nature! best player ever!

  • Shem

    He’s in the running for sure and has been throughout the last few years. Dwight is doing his thing right now, so I think he gets it.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Dwight is EASILY DPOY at this point. LeBron should finish top 5 in voting and get all-defensive first team along with Ibaka, Tony Allen, and Jrue Holiday.

  • http://www.blogspot.com LLC#12

    @Da-meat-hook, I’d agree LeBron may be more versatile in terms of defending 1-5, but say, if I had to pick one of em to defend another elite SF like Durant or Anthony (Anthonys losing his “elite” tag with me, but thats a whole other issue!) I’d maybe take Deng over LeBron..Also I have to agree with the Tony Allen being the best defensive 2 guard comments, maybe with Thabo a close 2nd? DPOY is Dwight’s though no question..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=542782613 The White Steve Smith

    Most Valuable Player -LeBron James
    Most Improved Player -LeBron James
    Defensive Player of the year -LeBron James

  • robb

    Hakeem is my favorite center ever, defensively he was a beast. All time leader in blocks is impressive, but the man is 8th of all time in steals, yes a center. Only 352 less steals than MJ. BEAST!

  • Conor O.

    If this ever happens, the DPOY will become a disgrace.

  • hushabomb

    For the next eight years they should tattoo the dpoy trophy with dwights face

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    LLC#12, I don’t think you can go wrong with picking either. I thing aside from defensive discipline, Bron has a slight edge in most of the major defensive categories (i.e. shot blocking, rebounding, lateral quickness, post defense, playing the passing lanes).

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C1DVoMJoEI Shecky Shabazz

    Tony Allen deserves it before LBJ.

  • JonJon

    Another Pathetic loser ….I have never heard a player who ask for an award or hope to have an award. Michael, Kobe and Magic only want to win a championship.. Lebron Attention seeker ..Get LOST!!!!!!! goshhhh

  • JonJon

    This guy is not a role model for kids.. He is showing kids to be arrogant and not be humble.. He is so Bul***it

  • SikhWitIt

    His defense on Pao in the post a week or two ago was very impressive. A guy that should get consideration for this, but doesn’t, is Shawn Marion. He always guards the other team’s best scorer and the statistical dropoffs tell the whole story.


    if he had more rebounds he would easilly get it. His block on Dwights dunk last nite was tight as SLAP! His defensive instincts are sic as for a dude his size. MVP , DPOTY , MIP…Complete Player.He better be cosidered. HATAS LAY DOWN & STAY DOWN.

  • JonJon

    why does Lebron do stuffs that makes everyone hate him? U never hear Michael Jordan or Kobe say that they want to win that. In their mind championship is the ultimate goal.

  • marxman

    As I said, this is Bron’s. Guards all five positions, the opposing teams best offensive player in the crunch, and is the thread that holds Miami’s incredible defense together. Done deal folks. MVP, DPY and Finals MVP in 2012. Book it.

  • dazzy

    JonJon, they did do “stuffs” like what Lebron just did. It’s called answering a question. Nothing arrogant or attention seeking about honestly answering a question. He’s not a robot; he can say more than just “I want to win championships”. Now go back to your sandbox.

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