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The NBA announced the three finalists for every award on Sunday, and Rudy Gobert, Victor Wembanyama and Bam Adebayo made the cut for Defensive Player of the Year. Perhaps the most notable name excluded from that group is Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis

In the aftermath of that reveal, Davis expressed his dismay to ESPN

"I'll never get [Defensive Player of the Year]," Davis said. "They're not giving it to me. The league doesn't like me. I'm the best defensive player in the league. I can switch 1 through 5. I can guard the pick-and-roll the best in the league, from a big standpoint. I block shots. I rebound.

"I don't know what else to do. I'm over it. I'm just going to do what I got to do to help the team win and try to play for a championship. Accolades and individual awards, I'm done with those."

His curious comment about the league not liking him aside (the media votes on these awards, not the league office), it's perfectly understandable why Davis feels the way he does. 

He has been one of the best interior defenders in the world since he was a rookie, but his four All-Defense selections -- soon to be five -- don't make up for the lack of a trophy. Making matters even more frustrating, he's finished fourth (2015), third (2018) and second (2020) in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. 

Davis was once again terrific for the Lakers, averaging 2.3 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. He finished fourth in the league in blocks and, along with Wembanyama, was one of just two players to average at least two blocks and one steal. Whether it was defending one-on-one in the post or cleaning up his teammates' mistakes with help defense at the rim, Davis often kept the Lakers afloat on that side of the ball. 

"I can block shots, I can help from the weak side, I can switch onto anybody, I can guard the pick-and-roll, I can guard the guard and get back on the big and break up the lob, I can guard the post, I can guard the pin-down," Davis said. "Whatever it is. Whatever it is defensively, I'm able to do.

"So, that's my ability. My ability defensively is to do everything."

The problem for Davis in this particular season is that he was not the anchor of the league's best defense (Gobert), nor did he lead the league in blocks by a wide margin with an array of incredible individual highlights (Wembanyama). Those two were the only real contenders for the award. While being among the finalists may have felt better, Davis likely won't be that far behind Adebayo in terms of total voting points.