Pam Adebayo (Miami Heat) calls his dismissal for Defender of the Year a ‘joke’
MIAMI — Two hours after the Miami Heat opened their post-season with a dominant 115-91 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, the National Basketball Association announced the finalists for the 2021-22 regular season awards.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has been named one of the top three nominees for Coach of the Year. Tyler Hero He was one of the top three nominees for this year’s sixth man. But the category of best defensive player of the year did not include the Miami striker, Pam Adebayo.
“I’m really surprised that Pam didn’t make it to the final,” Spoelstra said after Monday’s training. “I don’t know what people are watching. He’s played enough matches, so I don’t want that as an excuse either.”
Adebayo played 56 matches for the Heat team, which is ranked fourth in the defensive classification in the league. It has been crossed by Marcus Smart from the Boston Celtics, who played 71 games with the First Defense; Michael Bridges from the Phoenix Suns, who played 82 games with the 3-ranked defense; s Rudy Gobert From the Utah Jazz, who played 66 games for the No. 10 defense.
The Heat Do Everything Center believes that the vote was influenced not by general availability, but by the number of times the games of the top candidates received national attention.
“Disrespectful,” Adebayo said on Monday when asked about the finalists’ declaration. “I feel like I can do anything two of the three can do. All three play on TV more than I do. So I expect that. They get more exposure. People like talking about them more. Nobody wants that talking about us.”
As the season began, the Suns had 34 nationally televised matches. The Celtics had a 32, a Jazz 26, and a Heat 22.
“I feel that’s why so many players get so many trophies, in my opinion,” Adebayo continued. “They’re always on TV to show off their talents and just happen to make good games.”
The inclusion of Herro and Spoelstra in the awards announcement is contradictory evidence with Adebayo’s claim, of course. And the fact that Miami went 17-9 in the games they missed also indicates that the Heat’s defense was a huge factor in Adebayo’s success.
But Adebayo’s main sticking point was national television.