Dwight Howard displeased with NBA’s top defensive winner

Posted Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard didn’t hide his displeasure with Wednesday’s announcement that Memphis center Marc Gasol won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award.

“I think [Oklahoma City’s] Serge Ibaka, with all the stuff he did this year, I think he should have been the guy to win it this year and last year,” Howard said. “The stuff he’s done on the defensive end, I thought he was the clear-cut winner, but people saw it other ways.

“He led the league in blocks. That’s what defense is all about.”

Howard, who finished 14th in the Defensive Player of the Year voting, apparently wasn’t aware that Gasol is the brother of his teammate — Pau Gasol.

When initially asked his thoughts on the Defensive Player of the Year balloting, Howard, who won this prestigious award from 2009-11 said, “That’s funny. But that’s OK.

“We’ve got next year and I’ve got a long time. But this year is funny.”

Pau Gasol, of course, didn’t think it was funny.

“I text him,” Pau Gasol said. “I’m proud of him, it’s a great award to receive.

“We understand that defense is a big part of the game and Marc has done an incredible job, not just this year, but throughout. And he’s become a really good defensive player.”

Lakers excited for Mike Brown

The Lakers were happy for Mike Brown, who was hired Wednesday as the new coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I’m happy for him, good for him, yeah, that’s good,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Mike’s a great coach.

“He’ll do a terrific job.”

Originally hired by the Lakers in time to coach the 66-game lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, Brown was fired by the Lakers on Nov. 8 after they got off to a miserable 1-4 start. Brown eventually was replaced by D’Antoni.

“Mike is a really good coach, so he’s going to, I’m sure, help Cleveland be a better team,” Lakers forward Pau Gasol said. “Mike is a hard-working coach, very dedicated, pays attention to detail, so he’s going to help them out.

“They have a young team. I wish him the best — I’m happy for him.”

Brown coached the Lakers to a 41-25 record last year before they lost to Oklahoma City in five games in the second round of the playoffs.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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