In a shocking turn of events the likes of notable Miami-haters like Mike Wilbon, Brian Windhorst, and Bill Simmons were among those who failed to have Hassan Whiteside on their ballots for Defensive Player of the Year.
The dynamic Miami Heat ball-swatter who tallied 3.7 blocks a game this season finished third in voting with 83 votes, behind San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard (547) and Golden State’s Draymond Green (421).
Voters named their top three finalists in order from first to third and the Miami Herald obtained those who failed to name Whiteside. They’re listed below:
HBO’s Bill Simmons (had Leonard, Green, Millsap as his top three), ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (Green, Leonard, Tony Allen), ESPN’s Hubie Brown (Green, Leonard, Jordan), TNT’s Marv Albert (Leonard, Jordan, Green) and TNT’s Ernie Johnson (Green, Leonard, Avery Bradley); ESPN’s Michael Wilbon (Leonard, Green, Jordan); ABC’s Mike Breen (Leonard, Green, Jordan).
Of the 17 national announcers who work national jobs for rights-holders ESPN or TNT, only four put Whiteside on their ballots: Chris Broussard, Jon Barry, Mike Tirico, Mark Stein. All had him third.
See the full vote breakdown here.
Whiteside did not deserve to win the award over the world’s top defensive player in Leonard or the most versatile defender in Green, but absolutely nobody else deserves to be in the conversation for third [fists shaking].
Hassan has his shortcomings. He can improve as a pick-and-roll defender and on the glass — he often doesn’t box out — but he had an unbelievable year on the defensive end. What often goes unnoticed is his elite ability as a deterrent. Nobody wants ANY part of Hassan at the rim.
While I never thought he had a serious shot at DPOY with Leonard and Green lurking, he should have as strong a chance as any for Most Improved Player.