Originally posted on Around the Arc  |  Last updated 4/26/13
LeBron James was not too happy about coming in second to Marc Gasol in this season’s Defensive Player of the Year voting, and he shouldn’t be.“It sucks,” James stated simply. Gasol had a solid season, and served as the anchor on a very good defensive unit. However his season stats of 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game were underwhelming, and considering his defensive prowess is largely limited to patrolling the paint, it seems like Lebron’s versatility would have made him a more sound selection. "I guard everybody on the floor.  "I don't know if it's one player in NBA history that's guarded point guards through centers. “LeBron’s versatility argument is extremely valid. While Gasol was mainly tasked with sticking the opposing center and protecting the paint, which he did well, LeBron could be called upon to shut down the other team’s best player, whether that be perimeter or post. So basically LeBron needs the physical strength to bang down low with the League’s bigger bodies, but also the explosiveness and fast feet in order to stay in front of the premier perimeter players. “I have to know all the likes and dislikes, pros and cons, of each and every player in this league because at some point, I'm going to be matched up with them. It's a challenge for me mentally and physically."Gasol, for all his ability to alter shots and grab rebounds, cannot smoothly switch off onto another player should such a situation present itself, as he would get quickly embarrassed trying to stay in front of a Brandon Jennings. Gasol’s recognition is justified, but LeBron has developed into the League’s best all-around defensive player, and deserves the hardwood to go along with it. LeBron won’t have to wait too long to add another trophy to his cased collection however, as he should be receiving his 4thMVP award in the near futu
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