Dwight Howard is the gift that keeps on giving.
According to a story courtesy Pro Basketball Talk, Howard, who finished 14th in Defensive Player of the Year voting, said that he found it amusing that Memphis Grizzlies center and brother of his teammate, Marc Gasol, won the award.
The news caused Dwight Howard to say “it’s funny,” but he wasn’t offering his signature smile.
“It’s just funny,” Howard said. “That’s okay. We got next year and I got a long time. This year’s funny.”
Howard leads Gasol in the conventional defensive statistics like blocks, rebounds, and steals, but the Grizzlies big man has a significant advantage when looking at advanced figures.
The Lakers center is more a pupil of the old-fashioned defensive data and feels that Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka, should’ve been the recipient for this season and the last.
“Serge Ibaka with all the stuff he did this year, he should’ve been the guy to win it this year and last year,” said Howard, though the award went last season to New York’s Tyson Chandler. “With the stuff he’s done on the defensive end. I thought he was the clear cut winner. But people saw it otherwise.”
“He led the league in blocks. That’s what defense is all about,” Howard said of Ibaka. “He led the team and was number one in blocks this year. You can’t play defense without having any shot blockers. He was the No. 1 shot blocker the last two years. That’s great defense right there.”
I don’t know what’s more amusing, the fact that Howard finished 14th in Defensive Player of the Year voting or that he thinks blocks is the sole criteria for determining who the best defender in the league is.