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NBA Awards: Robert Covington finishes fourth in Defensive Player of the Year voting

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A lot of hard work paid off.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

All the usual suspects were at the top of the Defensive Player of the Year voting at the inaugural NBA Awards. Draymond Green, Rudy Gobert, Kawhi Leonard, and... Robert Covington?

You read that correctly. With a single second-place vote and another third-place vote, Covington snuck into the top four for the league’s top defensive honor, hours after news leaked that he’d finished within the top-20 of All Defense voting.

The NBA decided it would share this news through a super blurry picture on the league’s PR account, so I’ve gone through the trouble of making a table that’s easier on the eyes for you.

2017 Defensive Player of the Year Voting

Player 1st Place Votes (5 points) 2nd Place Votes (3 points) 3rd Place Votes (1 point) Total Points
Player 1st Place Votes (5 points) 2nd Place Votes (3 points) 3rd Place Votes (1 point) Total Points
Draymond Green 73 22 3 434
Rudy Gobert 16 53 30 269
Kawhi Leonard 11 23 58 182
Robert Covington 0 1 1 4
LeBron James 0 1 0 3
Hasaan Whiteside 0 0 3 3
Andre Roberson 0 0 3 3
Patrick Beverly 0 0 1 1
LaMarcus Aldridge 0 0 1 1

After the complete and total injustice that was Malcolm Brogdon winning Rookie of the Year over Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, this was a nice consolation prize for Sixers fans. But more than anything, it was deserved recognition for a guy who has never gotten the respect he deserves from most people outside of Philadelphia’s city limits.

Covington’s transformation into one of the most impactful defenders in the NBA is remarkable, and a testament to the amount of work he has put in over the last few seasons. The guy’s work rate on the court is tireless, and when he eventually gets paid later this year, he will have earned every last penny of that check.

He was booed by his own fans when his shot didn’t fall, discarded by national writers, and even used as a specific point of mockery by critics of the Sixers’ rebuild. Without linking to the trash column itself, this is a thing that was once written about Robert Covington.

Which brings us back to Robert Covington. The Sixers did not sign Robert Covington or any of the other undrafted scrubs that populate the roster because they are looking for good basketball players who can help them win basketball games. They signed him because they only have to pay him $816,482 to go out and do things like shoot 1-of-5 from the field in 17 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs. Robert Covington is in Philly to help the Sixers lose.

I don’t have to be nice about my reply to this—fuck every last person who ever thought this or something like it. Robert Covington got the last laugh, suckers.