Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis has always been known as one of the best defenders in the entire league.
No one has ever questioned his elite defensive ability, which has led to him being named to four All-Defensive teams throughout his career.
However, he has yet to win a Defensive Player of the Year award. The eight-time All-Star seems to still think that he should’ve won the award back in 2020.
Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo won the award during the 2019-20 campaign, which was shorted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Davis finished a distant second in the voting.
Davis definitely does have a point, as he averaged more steals and blocks per game than the Greek national that season. However, Antetokounmpo did accumulate a league-high 5.0 defensive win shares, a total greater than the 4.4 defensive win shares the Lakers big man had.
Antetokounmpo also won MVP honors that season, but his Bucks team faltered in the playoffs in the league’s Orlando, Fla. bubble. The Miami Heat beat the Bucks in five games in the second round of those playoffs.
Funnily enough, the Heat wound up facing off against the Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals. Of course, the Lakers won the title after dispatching Miami in six games.
The University of Kentucky product likely cared more about winning a championship that season, but he definitely still had the idea of winning individual awards floating in the back of his mind.
While players might constantly stress that they are more focused on team-orientated accolades over individual ones, they certainly always strive to be recognized with individual awards.
After all, players are oftentimes remembered more for MVPs and Finals MVPs than they are for championships.
It doesn’t seem like Davis is going to retire anytime soon, so he has a few more chances at winning the award he seems to desperately desire. He’ll need to be on the court more often than he has been in recent seasons, and he’s definitely aware of that.
Anthony Davis says his goal is to play all 82 games this season.
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) September 26, 2022
The Lakers would definitely benefit from Davis showing out this season on defense to a greater extent than he has in previous campaigns. The franchise lost a bit of its defensive identity last season, and getting it back will be important if it wants to make some noise this season.