Metta World Peace Believes ‘It Would Be Dope’ For LeBron James To Win This Elusive NBA Award

Published 03/03/2021, 3:30 PM EST
Jan 27, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) is fouled by Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) while driving for a shot during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James has won almost every possible honor there is to win in the NBA – MVP, All-Star MVP, Finals MVP, and multiple Championships, just to name a few. But there is one that he hasn’t got his hands on.


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No prizes for guessing that it is the NBA defensive Player of the Year award. And it is not like he hasn’t ever been in the running for it. He’s finished second in the voting twice, more notably in 2013, when he somewhat controversially lost to Marc Gasol.

Feb 14, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts after a play in the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

But, since 2014, he hasn’t even made the All-Defensive Team and is often criticized for his lackluster effort on defense. Though, that narrative is changing this season. The Lakers boast the best defensive rating (105.1) in the league.


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Many attribute it to Anthony Davis, but he has been sidelined since Valentine’s Day. So, all the plaudits are landing on LeBron’s feet. He’s back in contention for the award, and his teammates are even publically campaigning for it. Check out Kyle Kuzma’s tweet below –

Retweet for @KingJames all defensive team ❗️

— kuz (@kylekuzma) March 1, 2021

Metta World Peace, who won this award as Ron Artest previously, is also giving his two cents on LeBron‘s credentials for the award. Courtesy of our friend, Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, we found out what he has to say

“I don’t think he needs it. I just think it would be dope for him to get a DPOY award. But he’s got a lot of competition. Good luck. If he doesn’t get it this year, he could get it next year.”

Where does LeBron James stand currently? Does he have a chance?

The former Cleveland Cavaliers’ point forward is among the leading candidates as of now. In’s official and recently updated rankings for the DPOY, he ranks in the Top-5.’s updated Defensive Player Ladder:

1) Ben Simmons
2) Rudy Gobert
3) Myles Turner
4) LeBron James
5) Jamal Murray

— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) March 2, 2021


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He lies in the fourth place of a list that Sixers’ Ben Simmons leads. The versatile defender firmly believes in his stature as the best defender in the whole league. And now, he has the facts to back it up with as well.

Overall, it would be an uphill task for LeBron James to have a sniff at the award, with the likes of Rudy Gobert and Ben Simmons considered the favorites. So, as Metta said, he may have to try again next year.


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Bharat Aggarwal

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Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.