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Rudy Gobert named NBA Defensive Player of the Year for third time in four years

June 11, 2021

Rudy Gobert named NBA Defensive Player of the Year for third time in four years

For the third time in four seasons, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was named the NBA’s best defensive player according to the Associated Press. Gobert of Saint-Quentin, France previously won the NBA Best Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2017-18 and 2018-19, the two years prior to the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo winning the award with the Milwaukee Bucks last year.

In the 2020-21 regular season, Gobert averaged 13.5 rebounds per game, 2.7 blocks per game, 10.1 defensive rebounds per game, 3.4 offensive rebounds per game, and 0.6 steals per game. When it came to the total amounts, Gobert led the NBA this season in defensive rebounds (720), total rebounds (960), and blocks (190).

However, some statistics that might be surprising are the fact that Gobert was solid offensively too. He led the NBA as well in the two categories of two-point field goal percentage (.680), and field goal percentage (.675), and had 14.3 points per game.



An all-star with the Jazz the last two years, Gobert’s focus now is to get the Jazz deep in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Utah had the best record in the regular season at 52 wins and 20 losses, and in the playoffs, has a record of five wins and one loss, including a five-game winning streak. After losing their first game of the postseason without offensive star Donovan Mitchell, Utah beat Memphis in five games in the Western Conference quarterfinals, and then came from behind to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-109 in game one of the Western Conference semifinals.

Gobert becomes the fourth player in NBA history to win the defensive player of the year at least thrice. Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace each won the award four times, while Dwight Howard also won the award on three occasions.


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