UTAH JAZZ

History Of Utah Jazz End-Of-Season Award Winners

May 25, 2021, 4:22 PM | Updated: Jun 9, 2021, 7:40 pm
Rudy GobUtah Jazz center Rudy Gobert earning the end-of-season award for Defensive Player of the Ye...
Rudy GobUtah Jazz center Rudy Gobert earning the end-of-season award for Defensive Player of the Year (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports)ert Defensive Player of the Year (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports)
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner Sports)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Despite being one of the smaller franchises in the NBA, the Utah Jazz are surprisingly well accomplished in their three-decade-long history. From two trips to the NBA Finals to multiple end-of-season award winners, the Jazz have left their mark on NBA history.

With Jordan Clarkson winning the team’s first-ever Sixth Man of the Year award on Monday night, the Jazz have crossed another milestone off the franchise’s to-do list.

With that in mind, here’s a look back at every major end-of-season award the Jazz have won since moving to Utah in 1979.

1981 Darrell Griffith – Rookie of the Year

Darrell Griffith, aka Dr. Dunkenstein, won the Rookie of the Year award for the Jazz in 1981. Drafted number two overall in the 1980 NBA draft, he’s the only Jazz player to ever earn the honor.

In his rookie season, Griffith averaged 20.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists while filling the Salt Palace with excitement thanks to his electrifying dunks.

1984 Frank Layden – Coach of the Year, Executive Of the Year, Citizenship Award

It was a busy year for coach Frank Layden in 1984. After taking over the Jazz in 1981, Layden led the team from 17 wins, to 30 wins, to 45 wins in just his third season.

As a reward, Layden was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year and remains the only member of the Jazz organization to earn those honors.

Layden was also awarded the NBA’s Citizenship Award for his off-the-court philanthropy.

1985 & 1989 Mark Eaton – Defensive Player of the Year

Helping eschew in a new era of basketball alongside John Stockton and Karl Malone, Mark Eaton became the first Jazz player since Darrell Griffth to earn an end-of-season award.

The Man Mountain was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1985 after averaging a league-record 5.6 blocks per game, and again in 1989 while averaging 3.8 blocks per game.

1989 Thurl Bailey – Citizenship Award

In 1989, reserve forward Thurl Bailey became the second Jazzman to earn the NBA’s Citizenship Award after Frank Layden won the award in 1984.

Bailey earned the award for his work in the Utah community

1997 & 1999 Karl Malone – MVP

The league’s most prestigious award so far has been reserved for the greatest player in Jazz history.

Karl Malone was named the MVP in 1997, averaging 25.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists while leading the Jazz to their first NBA Finals appearance.

Malone earned the honors once again in 1999 while leading to a share of the best record in the NBA at 37-13 during the lockout-shortened season.

2018 & 2019 Rudy Gobert – Defensive Player of the Year

Following in the shoes of Mark Eaton, Rudy Gobert is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year award winner.

Gobert became the Jazz’s first back-to-back end-of-season award winner, averaging 2.3 blocks and 12 rebounds over the two award-winning seasons.

2021 Jordan Clarkson – Sixth Man of the Year

Jordan Clarkson etched his name into Jazz history by becoming the first player in franchise history to earn the Sixth Man of the Year award.

Clarkson led all bench scorers in the NBA averaging 18.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists for the Jazz, helping lead the team to the best record in the NBA for the first time in franchise history.

2021 Rudy Gobert – Defensive Player of the Year

After a one-year hiatus, Gobert again took home the Defensive Player of the Year award, earning the honor for the third time in four seasons.

Gobert led the NBA in raw plus-minus at +728, ranked second in blocks per game at 2.7, and second in rebounds per game at 13.5.

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History Of Utah Jazz End-Of-Season Award Winners