When it comes to discussing the best defenders in the NBA, the name of Avery Bradley is usually thrown into those conversations and deservedly so.
The Boston Celtics shooting guard was finally rewarded for his defensive abilities last season when he was named to the NBA's All-Defensive First Team thus confirming his status as one of the elite defenders in the league.
The 25-year-old was the leading vote-getter among all guards in the league and finished behind only Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors in All-Defensive voting totals.
Despite the honour, Bradley is not content with it and has set his sights on bigger things on a personal level for the next campaign.
"That’s my goal: To be Defensive Player of the Year," Bradley said. "I feel like [the award is] possible for me if I go out there with the right mindset."
After the Celtics were defeated by the Portland Trail Blazers towards the end of the regular season last year, All-Star point guard Damian Lillard revealed that he told Bradley he was "the best perimeter defender in the league".
It was high praise from one of the best perimeter players in the NBA and Bradley explained why he has no fear competing against the best on any given night and taking on the toughest of challenges.
“I love the challenge,” Bradley said on Friday making an appearance at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“I love going up against the best players. I don’t care who it is. I don’t care about getting embarrassed. I don’t care. Kyrie Irving, none of those guys scare me.
"I know some players in the NBA probably get butterflies before the game, but not me. I’m licking my lips. I come excited. They need to prepare for me at the end of the day. That’s how I think.”
The Boston guard will have a difficult task dethroning the reigning two-time DPOY Leonard, but make no mistake about it, it's a task he will not back down from.