LeBron is a true competitor to the very end. Dude doesn't want to lose anything, ever. Kinda like another current famous NBA player (hint,hint: Kobe)
One knock on LeBron James earlier in his career was that he focused more on individual goals like winning MVP and proving his worth to the media as opposed to winning a championship for the Cleveland Cavaliers and then the Miami Heat. But now, as he has moved past the "winning a 1st NBA Finals" stage of his career, Miami's all-world small forward has clearly put the team over himself, but still shows that the individual stuff still affects his play and his mindset.
Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies — a very deserving candidate — ended up winning the award, a fact that no less angered the uber-competitive LeBron who is playing better than basically anyone on the planet right now.
The superstar certainly did not try to hide his feelings of anger and frustration that he was not crowned the NBA's top defensive player for the entire 2012-13 season.
From Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post: "It sucks," James said. "It [losing the award to Gasol] sucks. It sucks."
When asked if his high chance to win MVP played a role in his not winning of the DPOY award: "I don't know," James said. It definitely sucks, though. Finishing second? Who wants to finish second?"
Even if he is being extremely self-centered and putting him own interests in the forefront as opposed to those of his highly-favored team, this attitude from LeBron demonstrates how his focus has changed since last season, and that he has truly embraced his role as divisive and incredibly successful star who never seems to turn off the competition. He is replacing the soon-to-be-outgoing Kobe Bryant in this all-crucial position among the NBA's elite.
As Kobe would incessantly demand scoring titles and MVPs in his heyday, LeBron gets frustrated at losing the Defensive Player of the Year award. The NBA works in cycles this way, as Kobe is to likely retire in the next few years, but has LeBron stepping in for his role in the league's hierarchy of players seamlessly. Just the way it should work.