On Monday, the NBA announced that Kawhi Leonard had won his second straight Defensive Player of the Year award, becoming the first wing player in the last 30 years to win the award in consecutive seasons. We each had our own ideas about who should win it, and while the majority of us stuck with Kawhi, there was a legitimate case to be made for Draymond Green.
“I think (voters) could have went either way,” Green said. “At the end of the day it didn’t play out differently than I expected. I expected one of us (he or Leonard) to get it, and he got it. You know, he’s a great defender. It’s not like I’m looking at it like, ‘This guy can’t defend.’ He’s a great defender, so it’s not really that big of a deal, like (there’s) something that I didn’t see happening … I wasn’t necessarily surprised. I felt more robbed last year.
“Last year I kind of looked at it like, ‘You know, he only played in 60 games (it was 64),’ and I played in I don’t know how many last year (79). So I felt robbed last year. This year, I don’t feel robbed at all.”
Though Green finished second in voting, it wasn’t quite as close as it probably should have been. That was due to some very curious choices on behalf of some of the voters. Apparently, nine out of the 120 voters inexplicably left Green out of their top three. Only one other voter elected against having Kawhi among their top three. Nonetheless, Green would’ve also been a deserving winner. The good news for us (and the bad news for them) is that we get to watch them fight over this award for many years to come.
(Via USA Today Sports)