Gobert Beats Out Simmons For NBA Defensive Player of the Year
Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award for the third time.
Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert has been voted the NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the third time, the league announced Wednesday.
The France native received 84 first-place votes from a global media panel, easily outdistancing Ben Simmons of the Philadephia 76ers for top honours.
Gobert previously won the award in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and is the fourth player to win the award at least three times, joining Dikembe Mutombo (four), Ben Wallace (four) and Dwight Howard (three).
Gobert's Jazz team-mates surprised him with the award, putting the trophy on his chair in the locker room and erupting in cheers when he walked in.
A 7-foot-1 presence in the middle, the Frenchman led the NBA with 10.1 defensive rebounds per game and his 13.5 total rebounds per game were second only to Clint Capela of the Atlanta Hawks (14.3). Gobert also finished second in the league with 2.7 blocked shots per game.
Gobert earned 464 points in the voting, while Simmons had 287 with 15 first-place votes. Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors was third with 76 points, Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat was next with 31 points, including one first-place vote, and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks placed fifth with 12 points.