Spoelstra: LeBron For DPOY!





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We tossed the idea around here last week, much to the chagrin of those who absolutely adore LeBron James and those who still aren’t convinced he’s worth all the fuss.

Where can the four-time MVP improve his game at this stage of his stellar career? If there is room for the Miami Heat’s back-to-back Finals MVP’s game to continue to grow, where will that growth take place?

LeBron is already an all-court force of nature, capable of impacting games the way no one else in the league can (that includes you Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Chris PaulDwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and anyone else that wants in on the discussion). As great as some of these other start might be in one aspect of the game or another, not a one of them can match LeBron’s abilities in all disciplines.

That’s what makes the prospect of Heat coach Erik Spoelstra‘s Media Day challenge to James one of the most intriguing sidelights of this upcoming season.

“This year, it would be great to see him be acknowledged for the defensive work that he does,” Spoelstra said, planting the seed while at the same time saying that’s exactly what he wasn’t trying to do. “There’s no one else in the league that can do what he does. He’s been banging on that door, getting close. I don’t want it to be a campaign. It has to be earned. But he has that type of potential to be Defensive Player of the Year.”

Not since Michael Jordan has the best player in the league been this proficient on both ends of the floor. And Jordan, you could argue, played both sides as well as anyone who has ever laced up a pair of sneakers in a game in the NBA or anywhere else. James has the potential to do the same and has shown flashes of it throughout his career, particularly in the past three seasons.

Who could forget his defensive effort in The Finals in June? San Antonio Spurs big men Tiago Splitter and Tim Duncan got a first hand taste of what he can do around the basket. For a man his size, his ability to defend on the perimeter is nothing short of ridiculous.

Can you imagine if LeBron was allowed to channel the majority of his energy every night into just playing shut down defense? I’m convinced he could challenge for a spot among the top 10 defensive specialists the league has seen. He’s that good, that talented and would certainly be that accomplished, if he were allowed to focus like that.

Did LeBron improve? I think it’s insulting to suggest otherwise. Since he’s been in Miami (and before) he’s come back year after year with new wrinkles to his game that require meticulous attention to detail in the gym during the offseason.

Capturing the ultimate prize, both team and individual glory, has not sapped him of his desire to tweak and improve his arsenal year after painstaking year. That’s a testament to the respect he has for those who have come before him, the folks who set the standard he’s trying to surpass and the mold he’s trying to break.

If LeBron needs any added motivation at this point of his Hall of Fame career, and I’m sure he doesn’t, let Spoelstra’s word ring in his ears night after night this season. And we’ll see if he’s capable of fueling the campaign his coach said he’s trying to avoid … “LeBron James, your 2013-14 Defensive Player of the Year!”



142 Comments

  1. JD says:

    Sekou Smith is Lebron’s PR guy.

  2. K says:

    One of the greatest quotes of all times “I’m Lebron James, it don’t matter!!!!” Lebron James 2 – time World Champion, Future 1st – ballot HOFer!!!! For all you haters and naysayers with all your negative comments about LBJ that quote is for you! Love him or hate him you can’t change what has been written in the NBA history books. It doesn’t matter how he got his championships or if he never wins another, he’s “Lebron James; 2 TIME NBA WORLD CHAMPION!!!!!! So live the rest of your life knowing there’s nothing you can do or say to change that set in stone FACT!!!!! WORLD CHAMPION MIAMI HEAT!!!!!

  3. Highlight reel says:

    Lebron absolutely has a chance to be DPOY. Why people say his defensive play isn’t a “game-changer” is crazy. In my opinion, he is one of the top 5 defensive players in the league. His blocks in last years NBA Finals were just that, if splitter jammed the rock down lebrons throat who knows what happens after that. He has as good a chance as anyone in the NBA to take that hardware home. I don’t believe that DPOY is just measured of steals and blocks alone, although those categories are impressive. The reason Marc Gasol was named last years DPOY is because overall on a one-to-one basis he performed the best on the defensive side of the ball. Same goes for the MVP award, lebron is the most valuable player in the league because of what he means for the team. I know the KD, and CP3 could have arguably been in the discussion, and rightfully so; take all three of those guys out of the lineup and i think those teams still have a chance at winning alot of games, with Wade, Westbrook, and Griffin backing them up, not to mention the decent bench players they have. Anyways, Lebron is a rare breed. Same mold as the greatest of all time MJ, not exactly the same but when you throw out the stats, rings, hardware ect. the both can more than hold their own defensively and obviously were game changers offensively also. Everyone can say what they want obviously, but until lebrons time is up and its all said and done. THEN, we can officially compare everything and anything that both hall of famers have accomplished. I think its going to be damn close. Lebron will have another spectacular year, and i also believe the MVP race and even DPOY race will be much tighter this year. In conclusion, if wade and bosh can have a real consistent year, the lebron can focus more on defensive, but even so they need his playmaking abilities on offense of well.

  4. marvzky says:

    let the game decide your disputes…enjoy…

  5. 2K14 is not better than 2K13 says:

    Not since Michael Jordan has the best player in the league been this proficient on both ends of the floor. ?? SHAQ ? Kobe? Was’nt the whole thing a few years ago “lebron isnt as good as Kobe till his defense goes up?” Not slating Lebron here but he is’nt the second coming of Jesus , Nor is Michael Jordan for that matter No1 is (i don’t think there was a first coming). Back to basketball i think were kinda slating the last 13 years of amazing defensive and offensive players, AI played both ends, Shaq played both ends, Kobe STILL plays both ends – lets be serious

    • Witness says:

      Kobes defense? hahahah please. LBJ is a better defender than KB ever was is or will be. Period

  6. 007 says:

    He still needs to grow as a closer. I saw in Game 6 a man by the name of Diaw, first name Boris, be able to contain Lebron. That seem like a glaring weakness that this unstoppable force was baited in to jumper after jumper when he was being guarded by Diaw.

    I would recommend on him focusing on closing. He has made strides but that was something I notice because I don’t know how many more shots Ray can hit to save his legacy.

  7. NBAFan says:

    @Reggie……you will be hard-pressed to find a DPOY in the last ten years who led the league in any of the defensive statistical categories. D. Howard did it in two of his three DPOY seasons (rebounding/blocks in 2008 & 2009 seaons); Marcus Camby did it in 2006 (blocks); and Ben Wallace did it in 2002 (rebounds). So obviously leading the league in stats is neither a primary or major factor in receiving the DPOY award. It has more to do with a person’s overall defensive impact on his team. Defensive improvement from the previous year and current year’s team defensive rank has more to do with it than anything else.

    Just a thought….

  8. TrueHoopsHead says:

    He would’ve gotten my vote last year.

  9. juggernaut584 says:

    Ok, let’s first be clear. Lebron cannot guard positions 1-5. If that were the case, as I have already seen posted, he would have been guarding Hibbert & West in the ECF. He would have been guarding Duncan in the Finals, or he would have been even been guarding Boozer/Noah in the semifinals. He doesn’t guard Dwight, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, or any other traditional power bigs in the league. Now I do agree that you can put him on a stretch 4, or a face up big man, but to say he can guard all 5 positions effectively is not quite accurate. I will give him 1-4, but not all 5. So I wouldn’t say that he is one of a kind in that regard because Scottie Pippen could guard 1-4, even though he was not as big and strong as Lebron; and Scottie Pippen never won a DPOY award in his career. This doesn’t mean that Lebron is not worthy or capable of winning the award, it just means that he probably hasn’t won it yet because, contrary to all of you Lebron worshippers’ belief, he hasn’t done anything that ain’t been done before on the defensive end.

  10. lol noobs dont know dpoy says:

    Joakim noah probably has the best shot, and lebron isnt even the most defensive sf, i think deng took that already. Im suprised Igudala never won one yet and Josh smith is incredable. Even nicola pecovich is a great defender, much better then lebron

  11. roy says:

    There are a lot of contenders for DPOY award, but almost all of them are big men. The pool is too big for LeBron to get noticed. Tyson Chandler, Roy Hibbert, Joakim Noah, Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan (Doc Rivers will help him make big strides), etc. I don’t think there is any room for LeBron to get noticed, especially since he’s on a team that already has pretty good defense.

    Besides, winning another MVP award easily is a better trophy to have.

  12. marty says:

    Already the most versatile defender by far. Just a matter of whether or not voters vote based on best defender and not by “he has enough awards”.

    • NBAFan says:

      @Reggie……you will be hard-pressed to find a DPOY in the last ten years who led the league in any of the defensive statistical categories. D. Howard did it in two of his three DPOY seasons (rebounding/blocks in 2008 & 2009 seaons); Marcus Camby did it in 2006 (blocks); and Ben Wallace did it in 2002 (rebounds). So obviously leading the league in stats is neither a primary or major factor in receiving the DPOY award. It has more to do with a person’s overall defensive impact on his team. Defensive improvement from the previous year and current year’s team defensive rank has more to do with it than anything else.

  13. ElRoger says:

    Lebron James is a great player no doubt about it, and a great player does not need to be compared to anyone because you simply see it in his game, but one thing that surely lowers Lebron’s game is his attitude oncourt watching him throw himself over chicago’s small guard and making him break his lip on the floor sure shows he is no contestant for a Fair game award.
    You can drible all you want but if you run the court throwing SH*** when you feel a bit frustrated then you need to grow something more than just your hand/ball coordination.

  14. NBA EYE says:

    If you replace Lebron with KD in Miami, they would’ve killed the Spurs and not almost lose to them. If you replace Lebron with Rose same thing. He’s a choker folks. He needs a superstar teammate and an All Star to win rings. Not impressed! He’s really good but he’s a choker. You won’t see MJ getting blocked twice by any player at crucial times and this is just an All Stars game!

  15. celtics4life says:

    I would put him In top 10.. but I just don’t see him getting dpoy..if he does somethings rigged

  16. micheal jr says:

    underdog is a freaking idiot how are you going to sit there and say lebron is not in the top ten. you clearly never watch basketball. you need to get educated!

    • underdog says:

      Dwight Howard, Noah, Tony Allen, Battier, Mark Gasol, Ibaka, Josh Smith, Paul George, Bogut, Iguodala.. I even forgot 2011-2012 DPOY Tyson Chandler.. maybe even add Anthony Davis this season.. Not TOP 10

      • NBAFan says:

        @underdog…..my only problem with your synopsis is that half of the people on your list (top ten defenders) can’t even guard LBJ but he could guard (and has guarded) everyone on this list; and has done so quite effectively. Keep in mind that if they can’t guard LBJ, they certainly can’t guard Melo, KD or Kobe; who are all wayyyy more offensive minded. Howard, Noah, Gasol, Ibaka, Smith, George, Bogut, Iggy are all good defenders (Howard, Noah and George are great defenders) but the bigs can’t guard him on the perimeter and the smalls can’t guard him in the paint. But in contrast, James can bang with Howard (who has a very undeveloped post game) and he can limit the game of every small on this list. So if James’ defense can top the top defenders, why would he not be included on the same list of the top defenders and be a contender for DPOY. I’m not willing to say that he’s a defensive prowess year after year but he definitely deserves to be in the conversation.

  17. jesse says:

    LBJ DPOY 2014
    Hes the best defender in the league hands down.. no1 can defend 1-5.. he can guard drose in crucial moments and still bang in the paint.. hes been deserving of the award for the past 3 seasons..

  18. SwishNBA says:

    The campaign has begun…

  19. Romeo Aguirre says:

    Lebron can’t guard Melo and defeninatly not KD. Melo gets his ALWAYS against Lebron and KD is to long for him just saying

  20. Michael Peloton says:

    Wolves beaten by CSKA Moscow. What a disgrace. I propose that t wolves abdicate as an nba team and allow CSKA Moscow to play in the nba. Such a disgrace in my opinion.

    • seriously? says:

      the celtics got beaten by fenerbahce last year. it’s preaseason who the hell cares. sixers were more disappointing in their win over bilbao because they actually tried so hard and barely won. besides what does it have to do with lebron winning dpoy?

  21. Rhedz says:

    Lbj got the potential…They say that playing good defense is the key to good offense…If Beasley, Wade can step up on the next level of scoring then LeBron can focus on defensing the perimeter or even the rim itself. If bosh can focus on rebounding purely then it will be a good thing for wade and Beasley. But if not then what bosh can do is focus on his perimeter shooting or outside shooting. Same goes for Oden..If he can focus on pure rebounding and develop a next level perimeter shooting then it will be a big help. But back to LeBron..As most of the people here says..he got it in him..he just needs to hone and mold his defensive side..bring out the defensive side in him more often than occasional. he got speed, skills, agility, versatility and power to match or even top players in defense like noah, howard George kobe and so on.

    What im trying to say is that in simply is that if the heat can roster can manage the offensive load then LeBron can put his attention on defending..he can guard 1-5 spots so why not..he actually has an advantage with his speed and explosiveness and i.q…he got power as I said to match big men inside…

    it will be cool for the heat to win third straight title, fourth for wade and 5 mvp for LeBron+dpog and sixth man allen or bosh or Beasley and most improves player oden or cole. lol..hehehe

    Goodluck Lbj, chase that award, that mvp, that ring…

    Heat nation !!!

  22. Sage says:

    Nonsense. Occasional rundown blocks do not = DPOY.

    • jesse says:

      Your obviously a lebron hater.. he does much much more then chase down blocks.. hes all a leader in steals,d rebounds, blocks. And his defensive energy is off the charts

      • Kobe Fan says:

        Where’s your proof moron? He’s not the leader in steals, blocks and rebounds. Idiot.

      • seriously? says:

        @Kobe Fan, he’s talking about team stats. name one other player who leads his team in all of these categories. oh yeah, and the team he’s leading is one of the top 5 defensive teams in the league too btw.

        why would you call someone a moron out of nowhere anyways? what the hell is your problem man

    • NBAFan says:

      @Sage……I TOTALLY agree, occasional rundown blocks does not get you DPOY. But 5 consecutive years of NBA All-Defensive 1st Team should get you some kind of notoriety……wouldn’t you agree?!?!?

  23. J says:

    he can do it

  24. Reggie says:

    Lebron is not the best defender in the league by any stretch of the imagination. He may be the most versatile but he’s not the best and if he gets defensive player of the year that’s a travesty. He’s never led the league in steals or blocks, and he doesn’t defend consistently. He defends in spurts which does not merit a DPOY award. Guys like tony allen, marc gasol, tyson chandler, joakhim noah and dwight Howard (yes, dwight Howard) don’t take possessions off and anchor their team defenses either from the perimeter or the paint and are relied upon on every possession, not just 25% of the game.

  25. underdog says:

    Oh Come on Battier is a better perimeter defender than LeBron.. Iguodala can do everything LeBron does defensively and Josh Smith is better overall defender than LeBron.. LeBron is NOT EVEN IN TOP 10!! in defense.. Dwight Howard, Noah, Tony Allen, Battier, Mark Gasol, Ibaka, Josh Smith, Paul George, Bogut, Iguodala are all better defenders than LeBron.. If he ever wins.. It’s because of this marketing campaign going on for how many seasons already.. Heck, him winning second last season was an insult to the league..

  26. Bullssukk says:

    Let me know when Kobe, Howard or even that clown Jokim can defend all five positions. Until then, not only is LBJ The best player in the NBA. He is also the best defender.

    • underdog says:

      actually Noah and Howard can and LeBron can’t.. Proof? Hibbert and David West killed him if matched-up..

    • Kobe Fan says:

      That’s why Kobe BLOCKS LeBron in the ALL STAR TWICE in front of Million viewers. If LeBron Gets the DPOY, the NBA is just a Business league.

      • Witness says:

        Wow that was real hard the first time LBJ wasnt even trying. NOONE was goin hard except for KB outa nowhere cause hes threatened by LBJ. The second time was as straight up foul he armbarred his off hand and held him down any clown can see that. This isnt the forum for you Kobe fan. LBJ is better than KB was, is or ever will be. Sorry

      • seriously? says:

        @Kobe Fan, allstar game lol.

  27. Kamote says:

    LBJ can win the DPOY, he has the skills. If Wade has proven to be healthy all year, and motivated by KD’s comments, then that would definitely take off some offensive load from LBJ. If Bosh decides to be one of the Heat’s Big 3 (not 2 1/2), then that would make the Heat a formidable offensive team even if LBJ focuses on defense this coming season. I think the key for another ring for the Heat this year would be on Wade, Bosh and all the members of the team to get a lot of offensive load from LBJ. Lebron, in return could focus more on being a better defender and facilitator. Who knows, he might even be able to pull an Oscar Robertson.

  28. Nishmon80 says:

    I think the last player to win DPOY and MVP in the same year was Olajuwon in 1994. Jordan did in 1988. So why does Olajuwon not get a mention?

  29. Dwight says:

    Nope Dwight will win it

  30. okc2014 says:

    Lebron James is the best player in the NBA.

  31. Eli says:

    I think Spoelstra should not campaign for Lebron to win any award. this is not a popularity contest. Let the merits of the players and the game speak for itself. Just coach…my two cents worth, Spoelstra is not one of the elite coaches, its just that he is gifted with players that can win games even without him at the helm…try winning with probably one star and 4 role players not with 5 or 6 stars or starters.

    • KG says:

      You’ve obviously never been a part of a team with amazing players…keeping those egos in check is so much harder than drawing up plays…your players have to respect you…

    • NBAFan says:

      @Eli…..Coach Spo has led his team to the playoffs every year since he has taken over. He led the Heat to 3 consecutive Finals appearances (only 3 teams have done this since the 90s) and he led them to back to back championships (only 5 teams have done this since the 80s). He led the Heat through three game 7s in the past two seasons (2012 ECF, 2013 ECF, 2013 Finals). He led the Heat to a 27 game win-streak last season which stands as the second longest win-streak in NBA history. I guess my question is…..what is your definition of “elite”?!?!?

      I understand what you are saying but it takes a lot more than talent to win. Ask the 2010-2011 Heat team that lost to Dallas in the Finals. Or ask the 2003-2004 Lakers who couldn’t win with a roster that consisted of Shaq, Kobe, Fish, Rick Fox, Karl Malone, Bryon Russell, Gary Payton, Horace Grant and was coached by the great Phil Jackson.

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        Spoelstra “led” the Heat through all of which you described?
        are you sure that LeBron. the MVP of the league, had anything to do with that?

      • NBAFan says:

        @LBJKIN6JAMES…..yes, Spo “led” the Heat. Half of the Heat’s playoff appearances under Spo occurred before LBJ came to Miami. Please read my words carefully and understand my intent…..I was defending that fact that I consider Spo to be an elite coach in this league. I wasn’t neglecting LBJ’s role. I don’t believe the Heat would be back to back champs without James but I also believe that it’s a symbiotic relationship. Meaning I also don’t believe that LBJ would currently (key word being currently) be a back to back champion without Spo and the Heat. They needed each other. I think credit should be given to whom credit is due. I’m not saying that they couldn’t have won without Spo, I’m simply saying that Spo deserves as much credit as LBJ. And by definition, the coach leads the team…..especially the “elite” coaches.

        Jordan, Magic, Shaq, Kobe, Wade, LBJ will always get the credit for their success (and rightfully so). But it would be irresponsible to believe that Phil, Riles and Spo didn’t play as big of a part in their success. It’s a team, you take away any one part and you possibly destroy the entire structure.

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        If I understand your words carefully, your saying “Half of the Heat’s playoff appearances under Spo occurred before LBJ came to Miami” .. but the only problem is that ‘Spo’ lost in the 1st round in the 2 years of coaching before LeBron AND Bosh came to Miami. Keep in mind the Heat still had pretty solid team.
        & then (all of the sudden) LeBron & Bosh come to Miami and go to the finals the first year, and win back to back championships the 2 following years…. can u see the pattern?
        I’m not saying that Spoelstra is a bad coach, I think he’s average at best, he is clearly lucky (just like Phil Jackson) to have the roster he does.
        So if your intent is to lead me to believe that Spoelstra is an “elite coach”, then I’m afraid we agree to disagree..
        By your logic, I guess Mike Brown is a pretty good coach then too, based on his record .. thanks to none other than LBJ

        I only give credit & respect to the coaches who always find a way to make it work, without the roster being stacked.. Coaches like Tom Thibodeau, Lionel Hollins, George Karl, & Popovich

  32. Sick and tired of all bs talk bout Lebron Lebron Lebron wtf.

  33. Marc gasol and Tony Allen 2014 for dpoy

  34. brains! says:

    why not?

  35. Tophercheese says:

    Lol 1:38 of replays of the same block. There were other blocks that he made in that finals series ya know.

  36. Lebron James ( http://www.hostnumber.com/lebron-james-career-stats.html ) does have a good chance to become the DPOY this season. He can guard the 1-4 positions with ease, because he is tall, fast and built like a truck.

    Spoelstra is smart to make his statement, cause Lebron knows that if he can win the DPOY, he, Hakeem and Michael will have something in common that the greats like Magic, Bird and Shaq could not achieve.

  37. Jordan Balocating says:

    If he blocks like he did against George Hill, Tim Duncan, and Tiago Splitter, he’ll definitely get DPOY. You can do it Lebron!

  38. Matt says:

    Better put it in everyones mind now so he will win it by popularity….. Lebron is the best player in the NBA and a great defensive player. But lets be honest he is not a DPOY. I would like to see the MVP and defensive player awards be given to players who actually fit into that criteria.

    The MVP award makes no sense at all if you look at the last 10 years. Half of those years have went to the most outstanding player. The other half have went to the most valuable player. If you were to take this player off the team there record would be dramastically different.

    The NBA needs to define what MVP means. Is it the most outstanding player or the most valuable? If you took Lebron off any of the last 3 HEAT teams. They would still be a top 2-4 seed in the east. Now what hppens if you take Paul off the Clips or Durant off the thunder? Do they even make the playoffs?
    6 years of awards. But more deserving players as MVPs like Paul, Durant, Kobe and even Parker could get the credit they deserve as players who are such valuable players that they are the difference between winning and losing everynight.

    • Pakyaw says:

      @matt, u got some point of the things that u said, but you should ask yourself first , doesn’t Lebron deserve the MVP award?..I think people getting tired for same person winning this award..

      • Han says:

        Not sure, but taking LBJ off Miami, won’t make them better than taking off Parker from Spurs. Ask any Spurs fans, if they could replay the finals without LBJ and Parker, it’s a clear cut who’d won the finals. You’re hilarious Sir, if you think MIA can finish 2-4 seed without LBJ

      • seriously? says:

        @Han, i’m pretty sure they can finish 2-4 without lebron. miami is a great team, built around the greatest player active right now. if lebron could do it all by himself then he would’ve stayed in cleveland wouldn’t he. taking off lebron from the heat doesn’t mean you take off around 25+ pts 7+ reb and 7+ ast from each game. the minutes from lebron will be given to other players. and while other players may not perform at that level, it means way more touches for wade and bosh, who are both still proven superstars in this league. especially in the east, miami will cruise to the top 4 without lbj, considering how wade got them to the 5th seed with beasley as his second option the year before the decision all by himself. considering how efficient wade and bosh are compared to melo and the rest of the volume scorers in the east, more touches mean more points for these two guys for sure.

        east is still pretty weak. it’s gotten stronger at the top, but i still think it will be another year of sub 500 teams making the playoffs. bucks lost like 15 of their last 20 before the playoffs last year and were something around 5 wins short of reaching 500 and still the 8th seed. sure maybe the bulls and the pacers may get a better record than the heat. nets, not so sure – remember how mwp predicted 72+ wins for the lakers last year? you can never tell how the chemistry or the rookie head coach will work out. and honestly, i just lost all hope with the knicks. i don’t even consider them a contender any more, it’s a bit sad when you think about how great a city new york is and how poorly the knicks are managed to meet the expectations of that city…smh.

    • KG says:

      I guess leading your team night and out in all statistical categories isn’t too valuable…if you take Lebron out of the Miami equation you no longer win championships….you don’t go on 27 game win streaks….he was and still is the leagues MVP and most outstanding player…

    • juggernaut584 says:

      For the last 10 years, it looks like they have consistently given the MVP to the player with the best stats on the team with the best record in their respective conference or best overall record. Unless there was not a clear cut superstar on the team; like Detroit in ’06, or Indiana in ’04. If OKC had finished with a better record than MIA, and won one of those regular season matchups with the Heat last year, then Durant would have taken home the hardware instead of LBJ. So I think that is the “unwritten criteria” for the MVP voting. Best player on the best team usually wins. I think they haven’t given an MVP to a team with under 50 wins since Mose Malone in the early 80’s.

      • NBAFan says:

        OKC did have a better record than Miami last year. If you recall, Miami won game 5 on their home floor which means that OKC had home-court advantage. LBJ was just a better overall player. KD was better offensively but James was better overall.

  39. amitpal says:

    I don’t think lebron will be able to win dpoy simply because he can’t change a game defensively like a dwight howard or roy hibbert can. Those guys can block the paint and make sure no one gets an easy shot. Lebron can only guard one person. Guarding one person is great for defensive first team but not dpoy.

    • seriously? says:

      or, lebron can guard whoever the team needs him to guard. think of it this way: lebron shut down both kobe and gasol in the same game (it was either last year or two years ago – everybody remembers that footage of gasol being smacked by lebron in the low post). lebron’s versatility not only allows the heat to play positionless, it also gives them the flexibility to switch matchups during the game. this is one aspect of how he changes a game like no other player does.

      the second aspect is looking at the season as a whole. as lebron will guard the opposition’s best player, he will guard rose (pg) against chicago, kobe (sg) against the lakers, durant (sf) against okc, kevin love (pf) against the wolves. 1-4 for sure. i am not foolish enough to give an example of a center for two reasons: although i do not doubt lebron could do it, it would be foolish for him to bang bodies with somebody half a foot taller than him for the whole game. the second reason is, i cannot think of a team in today’s basketball that has a truely great offensive center as their first option. against indy lebron has to guard george instead of hibbert, against rockets he might go head to head with howard if only wade is defending howard. it is stupid to move lebron to 5 on defense just to prove you haters wrong. you can see in little bursts lebron can do it. and we all know how consistent and durable he is. so logically speaking he would be able to guard centers. sure it would be nice if lebron won dpoy, but if it is going to hinder his chances for a title by needlessly tiring him during the regular season, it’s just dumb to choose dpoy over a finals mvp.

      so yeah, two ways he changes games more than howard or hibbert does

  40. Gillsy says:

    James is good enough to do it if he wins another ring, Finals MVP and Regular Season MVP. If I am correct he would join the Dream as the only players to do it.

    • juggernaut584 says:

      Not just Hakeem. Willis Reed, Kareem, Moses Malone, Bird (twice), Magic, Jordan (4 times), Shaq, and Duncan have all won regular season & Finals MVP in the same season. Great list to be on though.

  41. His Airness says:

    Lebron is one of the best over chase down blockers ever but he hasn’t yet shown the consistent effort on D to win a DFPY award. People say defense is about effort, but like most things, to do it transcendentally, you must love it. I hope he can develop that love.

    • His Airness says:

      Also, Lebron’s block against splitter was absolutely amazing. What I don’t like is his celebration after. Yes it should be celebrated, but after the game, Lebron. Or at the very least, celebrate it as you run down the floor.

      Michael Jordan’s attention never wavered from the game even when he made a fantastic play. Mj would have blocked it and then been one of the first back on offense. His mind was ever focused.

      • Aaron says:

        After that amazing block , lebron ran the floor and hit Mike Miller for the three!! So your comment so your comment is wrong.

      • seriously? says:

        mj dunked over mutombo and gave him his own finger wag. that is the most iconic in game celebration i can remember

    • His Airness says:

      Both Lebron and Wade could work on that. Wade particularly when he doesn’t get a whistle.
      Sure the refs missed the call Dwyane, but don’t let THEM spoil your next opportunity.
      Take the attitude that you’re going to slam the ball in your opponents face, or steal the ball, to get back at the ref for cheating you. It’s a simple change of psychology but a profound one. Instead of a victim complainer, you become a god of retribution.

  42. ChicagoBullsSuk says:

    LeBron > Jordan

    • Kamote says:

      moron

    • QUIPBO says:

      HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHhahahahahahahhhhhhhhhhhh

    • NBAFan says:

      @ChicagoBullsSuk…..C’mon now, this madness has got to stop. Can LBJ end up being the GOAT…..absolutely, but he still has a lot of basketball to play, a few more rings to get, and a couple of more stats to mount up. I won’t bore you with all of that, I’ll just start and end at the most important. Jordan’s intensity was so strong that this guy went 6-6-6; 6 Finals appearances, 6 Finals wins, 6 Finals MVPs (not to mention he did it on two separate 3-peats).. Jordan never even saw a game 7 in the Finals. In fact, in his 6 Finals runs, he only played two game 7s and they were both in the ECF. LBJ will never claim that accomplishment because he’s already dropped two Finals opportunities. Kobe will never claim it because he has also dropped two Finals appearances and was only MVP of two of the five Finals that he won. Now all of this doesn’t mean that James won’t end up being better than Jordan. But as it stands today, James is trying to be the greatest of all times……Jordan IS the greatest of all times! (arguably of course).

  43. Kodi says:

    Haters r my motivators… Lebron is motivated.. Blessed..#LBJKING

  44. I don’t think that would be happening anytime soon

  45. Lebronjamesthebest says:

    Love this article!!!!!!!!! Everything in it is absolutely right.

    • Denholm says:

      lebron cant guard all 5 spots on the floor, that is an outright lie, but because Spo said it, well the bandwagon is gonna get on it and even if he only starts 30 games he will probably still win it…. play him at the 5 against imposing low post presences: Lopez, Duncan, Hibbert, Jefferson etc and watch them go off for huge games.

  46. I lived within 20 miles from LeBron when he was playing at St Vincent St Mary. I couldn’t believe the things he was doing in high school. That was impossible for a kid his age. He was just a freak of nature.It was great to watch him grow throughout the years.Like most locals, I’ve been a big fan of his for a long time. I was beyond thrilled when he came here. I couldn’t believe it. I was always near him throughout his basketball career. I think I know him very well. He’s not leaving Miami. His teamates are his brothers. He will not let them down abandon them regardless of the circumstances.

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      interesting opinion.

      only 2 teams have been to the finals 4 years in a row in all of nba history, people are quick to forget that this will be the heat’s 4th championship appearance in a row if they succeed. I think this year they have a good chance at 3 peating… but their chances of winning it next year with the same roster is not going to be so easy. that would make it 5 champion appearances in a row, and would make history as the 1st team to ever do that.
      Unless the heat strengthen their core and get younger after this season, then I like LeBron’s chances in Cleveland more than Miami.
      The heat are the 2nd oldest team in the league, if LeBron joins the cavs while hes still in his prime then Cleveland would be the team to beat in the east, guaranteed!

      • QUIPBO says:

        1st team to ever make 5 championship appearances in a row? You do not know your basketball history and should stop watching basketball forever.

      • NBAFan says:

        @LBJKIN6JAMES…..I don’t use this forum to hurl insults or anything so I just want to give you this info for future references, the Boston Celtics made 10 straight Finals appearances from 1957-1966 and won 9 of them.

      • kek says:

        If they do win it this year, pat are going to replace alot of the supporting cast for next season, Pat is a smart guy and he knows basketball better than anyone. So if the Heat do win it. He will make another championship team for the next season, if he gets lebron to stay ofcourse.

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        Im referreing to teams to make it 4 straight championships in a row in all of NBA history **since- the Bill Rusell Celtics run** ..

        Only Magic’s Lakers an Bird’s Celtics have gone to 4 straight championships in a row **SINCE the Bill Russell Celtics era***

        & if the heat make it to 5 championship appearances in a row then they would be the 1st team in history to ever do that… SINCE ***the Bill Russell Celtics 10 championship appearances in a row***

        should have clarified that in the beginning of my post, this should help clear things up ;)

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        @ kek
        I agree with you that if the Heat 3Peat then Pat Riley will do whatever it takes to keep LeBron, and to ultimately strengthen their core and get younger in the process. However, I also think that if the Heat 3Peat then it would also be hard for LeBron to justify leaving the Heat for two reasons… one reason being that LeBron would only have one more year of his contract left after this season, and if the Heat 3Peat then why would LeBron want to leave the possibility of a 4 peat & go back to Cleveland ESPECIALLY if Pat Riley revamps the Heat’s roster and gets rid of the ‘old guys’ & possibly even looking to trade Bosh for 2 all-stars or 3 quality role players?
        we’ll see what oat Riley does ..

  47. ROkY says:

    I think he will

  48. sam says:

    ALL around player

  49. I think LeBron can win DPOY. He probably should have had more consideration last year because he can guard all 5 spots on the floor in addition to playing all 5 spots, so versitale on both ends of the floor. Like Spo said, though, he has to earn it.

  50. kb24 says:

    why not campaign for PED screening Mr Sekou!…Leroid will be guilty as charged!

  51. kb24 says:

    r u serious?….not a campaign statement…cheaaap!

    • Witness says:

      please. stop acting like Spo is the 1st coach in the history of the NBA to do anything like this. ALOT of coaches have.

  52. Jeeven says:

    that bum gasol did not deserve it.

  53. fedizzle says:

    I don’t want it to be a campaign, is like saying no offense before saying something offensive. Lebron is an amazing player a deserving MVP and a great defender, but it would be wrong to give him DPOY. First of all he isn’t the best defender and second of all there are guys that are in this league for their defense alone who don’t just make an occasional highlight chase down block or steal and full court drive, but guys that actually play lock down defense play after play. Exampes: Tony Allen, Paul George, Ibaka, Noah, Dwight Howard (if he’s healthy and back to form)

    That said if he deserves it he’ll get it and even if he doesn’t necessarily deserve it there’s a chance he’ll get it anyway.

    • just Clarifying says:

      not sure if you know this cuz u simply don’t watch Lebron play, but he’s not just some highlight defender, sure he’s not the best defender in the league (that would be Kobe — when he feels like doing it) but Lebron’s defense is insanely disciplined, always played with max effort and his help defense is second to none — people tend to remember only his highlights tho and not the great job he does each night

      FACT– this beast went 50-55 games in a row his first season in Miami in which not one player scored more than 10 in their matchup with him — I personally thought he shoulda got it that year and Noah shoulda got it last year or Ibaka

      Lebron’s defense does have its flaws against superstars i.e. he gives to much space — he prefers to lead players into traps instead of stopping the drive altogether — both techniques allow players like Durant , Kobe, and Melo to score but seriously the man is easily the best perimeter defender in the league if only cuz of this statement (read closely)

      Lebron can check any perimeter player in the league and do excellent with the exception of a Ridiculous night from Melo, Kobe or Durant but NO 1 can do a damn thing about Lebron individually –further melo truly needs to have a ridiculous type night otherwise Lebron will turn him into a non factor altogether – teams can do that to melo but LBJ is the only individual ive seen do it

      • underdog says:

        Oh Come on Battier is a better perimeter defender than LeBron.. Iguodala can do everything LeBron does defensively and Josh Smith is better overall defender than LeBron.. LeBron is NOT EVEN IN TOP 10!! in defense.. Dwight Howard, Noah, Tony Allen, Battier, Mark Gasol, Ibaka, Josh Smith, Paul George, Bogut, Iguodala are all better defenders than LeBron.. If he ever wins.. It’s because of this marketing campaign going on for how many seasons already.. Heck, him winning second last year was an insult to the league last season..

      • Witness says:

        Kobe is by far not a better defender than KB, you must be on something good. kobe never was is or will be a better defender than LBJ. Kobes pretty much just a gambler on D and lets alot of easy buckets happen, just ask Phil Jackson hes talked about it before. Just as LBJ is a better player than KB ever was he also is a better more versatile and much smarter defender. Period.

      • Witness says:

        This “underdog” guy says not even in the top 10. BAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • Mr West says:

      You clearly don’t watch much Heat basketball. Maybe basketball in general with this type of comment

      • anonymous says:

        it’s very sad to watch lebron get a chasedown block yet he has never even averaged 1 bpg in his career….and now they want him to win dpoy? seriously?

      • NBAFan says:

        @anonymous…..what’s the difference between getting 5 blocks in a game and forcing an offensive player to shoot 5 contested shots causing him to alter his shot and miss??? Nothing! They are both different forms of good defense. So why would LBJ averaging less than 1 bpg be a reason to disqualify him for DPOY. He may not be the DPOY and there may be many reasons why he shouldn’t be…..but this isn’t one of them! No offence but lets put some substance into this conversation because your point is extremely weak…..with all do respect.

      • Witness says:

        No doubt. Also whats weak and funny is that the best shot blocker in the league nowdays this past generation in general averages between 2 to 3 blocks. Thats nothing compared to the 4 and 5 blocks that some great centers used to put up like Olajuwon Mark Eaton Ewing D Rob. The golden era of the centers saw them swatting away WAY more shots than todays generations best.

    • Saeed says:

      So you say that guy, Paul George, defends better than Lebron, right?
      You know, I don’t understand why guys like you speak like this?
      Defensive efficiency is what should be counted upon. If a guy like P George is even a NOMINEE for DPOY, then a guy like KWAHI LEONARD should automatically win DPOY. The reason why this doesn’t happen is that a DPOY should affect his team’s defense with fewest possible energy. I can go to the court focusing only on blocking out bodies, setting screens, etc. with NO contribution on offense!!! So should I be DPOY?
      Even CHANDLER who won 2012-13 DPOY could IN NO WAY defend Hibbert on Eastern Semis and, to me, was the MAIN MAIN reason his team fell short to Indiana. So think before talking please!!!

  54. RexIustus19 says:

    If the Heat had defended well since the beginning of last season, LeBron might have won DPOY, he still finished second as the Heat finished 5th on points allowed.

  55. Skolimowski says:

    Noah for DPOY 2014.

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      most likely

      • Denholm says:

        No one has mentioned Roy Hibbert who will once again anchor the best defense in the league.. Rose and healthy or not the bulls are not as good defensively as the pacers… Who you can bet top dollar will be out for blood this season..

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        I never sleep on the Pacers! lol .. they lay low all season and come playoff time they’re the team you don’t want to face lol

  56. daslickflip says:

    LeBron and Dwight will be fighting for that honour and I think Deandre Jordan is a dark horse for that award too.
    With Doc Rivers as coach the Clips will be a defensive team and their anchor would be deandre jordan. But my favs are Dwight and LeBron Im not leaning towards either but LeBron has a tough defensive team that can make him look even better on defense than he already is but Howard comes to an almost no defense team and if the team makes a jump in defensive efficiency i think dwight could easily win the DPOY again.
    There are other favs like, Ibaka, Joakim Noah and Tyson Chandler too. But Itll all depend on their teams records and their defensive statistics.

  57. Jason says:

    Its w.e they will probably give it to him just like the two rings

    • lbj says:

      earned not given buddy

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      you meant EARN !

      #earnedNotGiven

      • pistonsfan says:

        yeah it was given, the second one at least. he can thank Ray Allen being clutch and Bosh for the offensive rebound

      • ldskjf says:

        then you can go ahead and say the same about kobe’s last 2 rings, and thank trevor ariza and fish for hitting all those clutch 3s. and every other team that won a championship in which more than one player contributed, oh wait that is all of them

      • KunJayMaster says:

        My first reaction was to laugh, then quickly i just felt sad. Baffles me people this days write such absurd and ignorant comments just to express their dislike of someone. So he has to thank his team mate (key word here TEAM) for making a play that wins a game? Pretty sure that’s he reason is a team game.

      • pistonsfan says:

        Well, yes, he has to thank him, because no matter how great you thing LBJ played throughout the season and playoffs, it all came down to this play. And if Ray misses that shot, he can flush down everything he did in the toilet, like in 2011. So in MY opinion, he played good, but he (they) won by pure luck. If Allen didn’t choose the heat like he shouldn’t have as a former Celtic (i agree with KG and Rondo in this) the Spurs are champs now. And no, I’m not a hater, I just don’t like the way LBJ is now treated like the best player ever just because he finally got his rings.

      • NBAFan says:

        @pistonfan…..every successful team has some luck involved but to say it’s “pure luck” is a bit of a stretch don’t you think?!?!? “Pure luck” only carries you so far. The Heat still had to win games 2, 4 and 7 even if game 6 was (as you put it) “pure luck”. And as far as James needing to thank Ray Allen for this championship…..I agree. But not only James; Wade, Bosh, Spo, Riles, Micky and all of the Heat fans need to thank Ray. They also need to thank Bosh for getting the rebound. They also need to thank James for carrying the team from the third quarter until Allen’s shot in the fourth. They also need to thank Ginobili and Kawhi Leornard for missing two free throws that would have essentially sealed the game. They should also thank Coach Pop for taking Duncan out of the game so that Bosh would have the chance to grab the rebound. All I’m saying is that insinuating that Ray Allen won that championship is as insulting as saying that Steve Kerr won the 1997 championship. Allen’s shot was amazing and beyond timely….and the sequence of events that led up to the shot was riddled with luck, talent and preparation; but to call the championship win “pure luck” is inaccurate to say the least and giving all credit to Ray Allen and Bosh seems like a little hatred (just a little) towards James,

      • pistonsfan says:

        Okay I actually rewatched the game 6 highlights, and maaaan they got lucky several times. First, they’re down 2-3 so its a must win. Lebron has a triple double, but shot just 11-26 from the field, 1-5 from 3. That isn’t clutch, altough he hit his only three in the final minute. Chalmers hit 4 of 5 threes, Miller got the shoeless three which was a momentum changer. In the last minute, Kawhi Leonard could’ve ice this, but hit just 1 of 2 freethrows, which led to the Allen clutch three. then in the ot, last play, Manu was fouled but of course the refs helped out the heat. So yeah, in my terms, this is pure luck, no matter how hard they played all year, they should’ve lost the finals.

      • NBAFan says:

        @pistonsfan…..your facts are spot-on. But your theory is….lets say interesting. I continue to concede that luck was involved. But are you really considering a triple-double to be luck? You’re also considering LBJ shooting 20% from long distance to be luck when he was a 40% 3-point shooter on the season (some would think SA was lucky that he didn’t shoot better in that game). Rio hitting 4 of 5 3s was consistant with his season stats (40% from 3-point range) but for the sake of debate lets say he had an above average game. Mike Miller’s shoeless three……luck (no balance and near impossible to get a rhythm shot off when you’re sliding around on the floor). Leonard missing that free throw, I can’t consider that luck; I have a simpler explanation…..he choked or you could say that the percentages caught up with him, he was only a 82% FT shooter to begin with. And I totally agree that Manu was fouled on that last drive in OT but if you look closely you will also see that he travelled before he was fouled also. The refs swallowed their whistles and let them play (we can credit that to luck).

        But I like to play devil’s advocate…..lets credit all of these events to luck. Can we also credit Game 1 to luck (Parker’s shot). Can we also credit Game 3 to luck (SA overpour of 3 pointers); I’m not willing to call that luck but by your definition it could go either way. And what about Game 5, Ginobili’s best game of the playoffs…..more luck??? There’s an old saying “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. So by attributing everything to luck for the Heat, then you are saying that SA was not prepared and didn’t take advantage of their opportunities……Do you really believe that?1? Really?1?

        Thanks for the debate pistonsfan; whether you continue to respond or not, it’s been fun. I enjoy friendly banter without someone having to be insulted or disrespected because of their opinions.

      • Witness says:

        @pistonsfan…what a bitter hater baaaahahahahahahahahahah..its ok lil guy you should go and cry to your mommy about it..you understand nothing about the game of basketball..go comment on other forums and stay off the basketball because u just don’t know what you are saying

      • tim duncan says:

        i am a huge spurs fan, and take it from me, heat didn’t get lucky in that series, we took them to 7 games and they had to win it as a team. if they hadn’t of had lebrons huge impact then ray wouldnt of even been in a position to hit the 3 and tie the game.

        how anyone can call it luck that the guy that took the 3 pointer to tie game 6 was RAY ALLEN (best 3 point shooter to date, i mean come on!!!) is just crazy. that was the whole point of getting ray in!!!!

        people can hate all they want, and that game was OURS to lose, but at the end of the day luck isnt an excuse

      • pistonsfan says:

        @Witness …lil guy? go cry to my mama? did i sound like i was rooting for the spurs and i’m devastated because of their loss? i know nothing about basketball? how do you know that? from 20 sentences i wrote here? usually i ignore mofos like you, but damn, you are a real jerk. YOU should stay off of NBA forums.

      • pistonsfan says:

        Oh and did you see my name? PISTONS fan? I just wrote a comment whether lebron deserved his championship or not in my opinion and that’s it. But again, i was reminded why i don’t like to comment anywhere, because 99% of the people are like you Witness.
        As an ending to anyone who still reads, all i wanna say is i hope everybody stays healthy this year, (D-Rose, Kobe, Westbrook etc.)
        and we are going to see a full powered NBA competition for the title.