Snubbed Defensive Player #21: DeAndre Jordan
Along with players like Dwight Howard, Serge Ibaka, and Tyson Chandler, DeAndre Jordan helped transform the center position. Previously, height was the primary requirement for playing center, but the likes of Jordan helped encourage teams to prioritize big men who also had athleticism and mobility.
At his best, Jordan was certainly that, and despite being a late second-round pick, he quickly made a name for himself on the defensive end. Once Chris Paul joined the Los Angeles Clippers, the team became a title contender, and Jordan began receiving increased attention for his defense.
Despite being hyped up by his former coach, Doc Rivers, Jordan wasn’t quite the defensive player that he appeared to be for most of his Lob City days. Jordan often bit hard on pump fakes and focused too much on blocking shots rather than protecting the rim (which isn’t necessarily the same thing). He was also known to chase defensive rebounds to pad his stats.
To Jordan’s credit, he did learn from his mistakes and become a better defender as a result, but he came up just short in the Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2013-14. Still, at his best, he was an athletic freak who could swat shots with the best of them.