Bam Adebayo calls Defensive Player of the Year snub ‘disrespectful’

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) goes to the basket as Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) defends during the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo has never held back his feelings about wanting to be the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Adebayo has set that as a major goal in his career.

On Sunday, the 2021-22 finalists were released by the league.

The final three were Rudy Gobert, Mikal Bridges, and Marcus Smart.

Adebayo was asked about the snub on Monday.

Adebayo said, “Disrespectful. Obviously. I feel like I can do anything that you know two out of the three can do besides, 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. People don’t like to talk about us. So, it’s whatever at that point.”

Adebayo went on to say, “They’re always on TV getting to showcase their talent.”

Heat head Coach Erik Spoelstra agreed with Adebayo.

Spoelstra said, “I’m just really stunned that Bam isn’t a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year. I don’t know what people are watching and he’s played enough games so I don’t want that as an excuse... That’s the one disappointment of the year.”

Spoelstra said if Adebayo continues to play well people will have no choice but to give him the award.

The Heat currently lead their playoff series over the Atlanta Hawks 1-0.

Game 2 is Tuesday night at FTX Arena.

About the Author:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.