The Los Angeles Lakers knew they needed to make some sweeping changes this offseason to make it back to the playoffs after missing them entirely last season. One of their biggest moves of the offseason involved swinging a trade with the Utah Jazz for veteran guard Patrick Beverley. The Lakers hope Beverley can be a defensive spark plug for them whenever they call on him this season.
Beverley wasn't happy that Smart won DPOY last season
Beverley has made a name for himself throughout his career due to his defensive skills. Beverley is a tenacious defender who doesn't back down from anyone, and it has helped him carve out roles for himself no matter what team he is on. Even as his offensive production comes and goes, Beverley can be counted on to show up on the defensive end of the floor every time he takes the court.
Beverley's reputation as a defensive ace is well known throughout the league, which is why he was so upset to see Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics win the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award last season. Beverley said he feels like he's been a DPOY candidate every year he plays and seemed to be upset he was passed over in favor of Smart, although he did note he was glad that a guard finally won the award.
"Part of me was pissed the f--k off, Dray... I ain't gonna lie, bro. I'd be a fool not to sit—from a competitor's standpoint—I'd be a cap sitting on here telling you I wasn't pissed off when that happened... Not from like, I don't want him to get it—from like, 'Damn, I'm happy a guard got it, but damn, I've been sitting right here. I've been sitting right here for years.' But I respect it. A guard got it." - Patrick Beverley, The Draymond Green Show
Beverley's disappointment in not winning DPOY is confusing
In a way, Beverley's argument makes sense. He feels like he's been one of the best defensive guards in the NBA for the past few years, but he's never earned any consideration for the DPOY award. For what it's worth, Beverley didn't earn a single vote for the award last season.
That's what makes this complaint or disappointment so confusing. Beverley has always been a good defender, but it's clear that guys like Smart are well ahead of him. Beverley can stick with guys, but he gets burned far more often than a DPOY candidate should. It's also worth noting Beverley's role with his teams isn't big enough for him to gain recognition, as he's played under 30 minutes a game over the past four seasons.
Beverley is a good defender, but he's not DPOY-worthy, and it's confusing why he thinks he is. Smart was the best defender on the best defensive team in the league last season, and while some think he didn't deserve to win the award, it was hard to miss his defensive impact when watching the Celtics. Beverley's disappointment isn't justified here, and he likely won't be receiving any consideration for DPOY in future seasons.