Bam Adebayo is widely regarded as one of the NBA's best defenders, earning three All-Defensive Second Team selections and finishing top-five in Defensive-Player-of-the-Year voting three years in a row.
However, he believes that he should have two DPOY awards in his trophy case by now.
“I should have won it the last two years, and I will win it this year,” Adebayo said at the Miami Heat's youth clinic, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Two years ago, Rudy Gobert took home the award, becoming just the fourth player to win DPOY at least three times (joining Ben Wallace, Dikembe Mutombo and Dwight Howard). Adebayo finished in fourth place behind Gobert, Ben Simmons and Draymond Green. Adebayo received just one first-place vote and earned 31 voter points (of a possible 500). For comparison, Gobert got 84 first-place votes and 464 voter points.
Last season, Marcus Smart won the award, becoming the first guard to earn the honor since Gary Payton won it in 1995-96. Adebayo once again finished fourth in voting, trailing Smart, Mikal Bridges and Gobert. However, he fared a bit better this time around, earning 13 first-place votes and 128 voter points.
Adebayo has never been selected as a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year (since he hasn't finished top-three in voting).
Entering the 2022-23 season, Adebayo has the second-best odds to win the Defensive Player of the Year award (+650) behind only Gobert (+400), who was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves this offseason.