LeBron James Is ‘Happy As Hell’ To Have Marc Gasol But Joked The Big Man Has His DPOY Award

After winning the 2020 NBA title, the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t simply “run it back” with the same cast of characters. To be fair, the Lakers are still built around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, with a number of key cogs returning, but Los Angeles did overhaul its frontcourt, investing in Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol to replace Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee at the center spot. In discussing the team’s additions on an upcoming podcast episode, James got into some detail on Wes Matthews (who will bolster the Lakers’ wing rotation), Harrell and Gasol, but he did make sure to nudge Gasol when it comes to a prominent award James didn’t win.

James led with the fact that he is “happy as hell” to have Gasol on board, and he will bring an interesting profile as an impactful defensive piece with high-end basketball IQ. However, he pivoted to a joke about Gasol having “his” Defensive Player of the Year trophy, referencing the fact that Gasol won the award in 2012-13, with James finishing second.

It has to be noted that James won the 2012-13 MVP award, garnering all but one first-place vote, so it wasn’t as if it was a bad year for the 16-time All-Star. Still, the 2012-13 season was the closest James ever came to winning DPOY and, while it probably doesn’t bother him too much, there could be a grain of truth when it is brought up (unprompted) in this fashion.

Gasol isn’t the kind of rim-running force that Howard and McGee were last season, but Harrell can handle the offensive production, while Gasol can potentially pair with James and Davis for a treacherous defensive trio. Regardless, James seems upbeat about his new teammates, even if he just had to get a shot in about one of the only pieces of hardware he doesn’t actually have with his name on it.