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Bam Adebayo and Erik Spoelstra slam the NBA for DPOY snub: "We lack TV exposure"

Erik Spoelstra argues why Bam Adebayo should have been a finalist for the DPOY.
Bam Adebayo and Erik Spoelstra slam NBA for DPOY snub

Bam Adebayo has been one of the best defenders in the NBA and believes he should have been one of the leading candidates for the DPOY

The finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year were announced on Sunday afternoon, with Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics eventually being named the winner the following day. When Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo found out he wasn’t on the shortlist, he immediately pointed out the precise reason behind the snub.

Low exposure

The finalists for the 2022 DPOY are Marcus Smart, Mikal Bridges, and Rudy Gobert. Adebayo immediately went on a rant after the announcement. Apart from claiming he can do everything better than the three, Adebayo believes the Heat’s lack of TV exposure ultimately lowered his stock.

"Disrespectful," Adebayo said Monday when asked about the announcement of the finalists. "I feel like I can do anything that two out of the three can do, besides, I mean, I can't teach height. But they all three play on TV more than me. So I would expect that. They get more TV games and they get more exposure. People like to talk about them more. Don't nobody want to talk about us. So, it's whatever at that point," Adebayo said, per ESPN.

"I feel like that's why a lot of dudes do get a lot of awards, in my opinion," Adebayo continued. "They're always on TV getting to showcase their talent and just so happen to have good games."

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The numbers back up Adebayo’s claim. The Suns had 34 nationally televised games slated, while the Celtics had 32, the Jazz had 26 and the Heat had 22. However, Adebayo played just 56 out of 82 regular games this season.

Further, Smart suited up for 71 games this season to power the Celtics to become the number 1-rated defensive team. Bridges played all 82 games for the third-best defensive team, and Rudy Gobert suited up for 66 games for the 10th best defensive squad.

Spo’s assessment

While Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra didn’t necessarily echo Adebayo’s sentiments, he implored fans to tune in to their games to see the big man’s impact with their very own eyes. Spoelstra noted how Adebayo is probably the most versatile defender in the league — something of key importance given this era of positionless basketball.

"Just watch any one of our games," Spoelstra said. "You have a defensive system that's built around his toughness and versatility. And it's not a cliché, it's not just a thing you throw out there that he can literally guard 1 through 5. You can count on one hand in his association of 450 how many guys that you can legitimately say that can compete on the ball 1 through 5 at all five positions. And he's at the very top of that list. That's unique unto itself."

It’s definitely a sad day for Adebayo, Spoelstra, and the Heat fans. This is a team that literally made the NBA Finals two years ago, yet they continue to be panned by critics and the media. Here’s to hoping that they use this as fuel to their fire this postseason.

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