June 21, 2024

LeBron James has scored more points than anyone in NBA history.

The four-time champion and 20-time all-star has been named league MVP and Finals MVP four times each.

He also has finished second in defensive player of the year voting twice.

Apparently that last part really bugs the Lakers superstar.

“I mean, that’s the only award that I don’t have in my house. It kind of stings,” James said in a clip released from the latest episode of “The Shop: Uninterrupted,” which will drop Thursday on HBO. “I’ve talked about this before, like, it don’t make sense. It’s almost what [Jay-Z] just said about [Beyoncé]. How could she have the most Grammys, but never won Album of the Year?”

James won his first league MVP award as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009. He finished second to Orlando’s Dwight Howard for defensive player of the year and the voting wasn’t close. Howard received 105 first-place votes and 542 total points from the 119 sports writers and broadcasters who cast ballots; James got four first-place votes and 148 points.

The one that really seems to stick in James’ craw came in 2013, the same year he won his final league MVP award, this time as a member of the Miami Heat. Marc Gasol, then of the Memphis Grizzlies, won the defensive player of the year award, with 30 first-place votes and 212 points; James finished second, with 18 first-place votes and 149 points.

While that still seems like a somewhat sizable margin between first and second place, something doesn’t sit right about it for James.

“The guy who won defensive player of the year didn’t even make first-team all-defense,” James said on the clip released Tuesday. “How is that even possible?”

James is correct. He made first-team all defense that year, while Gasol only made the second team.

It was possible because, at the time, the all-defensive teams were determined by coaches’ votes, an entirely different group of people that cast ballots for defensive player of the year.

It actually wasn’t the first time that happened. Alvin Robertson (1986), Dikembe Mutombo (1995) and Tyson Chandler (2012) all were second-team all-defensive players the same year they were named defensive player of the year. Gasol was the last player to fall into that category, as the all-defensive team has been determined by a panel of sports writers and broadcasters starting in 2014.

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