Jazz big man Gobert named NBA Defensive Player of Year

Published June 10, 2021, 10:27 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz blocks the ball to win the game against the LA Clippers during Round 2, Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 8, 2021 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Adam Pantozzi / NBAE / Getty Images / Getty Images via AFP)

Utah center Rudy Gobert was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday, the third time the Jazz’s French big man has earned the award.

Gobert, who also won the award in the 2017-18 season and in 2018-19, is the fourth player to win the award at least three times, joining Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace — who both won it four times — and Dwight Howard who won it three times.

The 7-foot-1-inch (2.16m) player dubbed the “Stifle Tower” received 84 first-place votes and earned 464 points from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. 

In his eighth NBA season, Gobert led the league in defensive rebounds per game with 10.1, total defensive rebounds with 720 and total blocked shots with 190.

He ranked second in blocked shots per game (2.70) and posted six games with at least 15 defensive rebounds and eight games with five or more blocks.

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons of Australia finished in second place with 287 points (15 first-place votes).

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, the 2016-17Defensive Player of the Year, finished in third place with 76 points.

Players received five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

The Jazz lead the Los Angeles Clippers 1-0 in their best-of-seven Western Conference second-round playoff series after a 112-109 victory on Tuesday.