UTAH JAZZ

Rudy Gobert Wins Third NBA Defensive Player Of The Year Award

Jun 9, 2021, 7:04 PM | Updated: 7:17 pm

Rudy Gobert - Utah Jazz...

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert blocks Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb.1, 2019. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Rudy Gobert has been named the Defensive Player of the Year for the 2020-21 NBA season.

The Utah Jazz center earned the award for the third time in the last four seasons, making him one of the most decorated defenders in the history of the league.

Gobert won the award in back-to-back years in 2018 and 2019 before Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo earned the nod last season.

In a video shown on TNT’s Inside the NBA, teammate Derrick Favors said the team was going to surprise Gobert with the award for the third time. Gobert entered the team’s locker room with the award waiting in his chair.

The All-Star center led the Jazz to the third-best defense in the NBA and the best overall record this season. 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.

“I think it takes a team effort,” Gobert said of winning the award for the third time. “It takes obviously toughness, mental toughness. It’s just hard work and dedication every single day. You’ve got to come in with a mindset to try to make your team as good as it can be.”

Now in his eighth season, Gobert beat out Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green who were also finalists for the award.

With the win, Gobert joins elite company in NBA history. Since the award’s inception in 1983, only three other players have won the award at least three times.

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard won the award in three consecutive seasons, while Hall of Famers Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace both won the award four times.

Along with two-time winner Mark Eaton, the Jazz have now won the Defensive Player of the Year award five times, moving into second place all-time behind the Detroit Pistons who have six.

Gobert is a four-time member of the NBA’s All-Defensive first team and is a shoo-in to earn the honor for the fifth consecutive season. The Jazz center earned 84 first-place votes, 14 second-place votes, and two third-place votes en route to 464 total votes.

Gobert beat out Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (287 points) and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (76) who finished third.

It’s been a busy awards season for the Jazz after finishing the year with the NBA’s best record. In addition to Gobert winning the Defensive Player of the Year, teammate Jordan Clarkson was named the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award winner.

Quin Snyder was also a finalist for the Coach of the Year award, though the honor went to Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams. Meanwhile, Donovan Mitchell is a finalist for the NBA Community Assist Award.

You can see a complete list of past Jazz award winners here.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz CEO Danny Ainge speaks...

Ben Anderson

Jazz Lose Draft Tiebreaker To Nuggets, Will Pick 29th

The Utah Jazz will own the 29th pick in the first round of the NBA Draft after a tiebreaker was held on Monday.

5 hours ago

Utah Jazz forward John Collins...

Ben Anderson

Rudy Gobert, John Collins Ranked Among NBA Most Overrated

Rudy Gobert and Utah Jazz forward John Collins are among the league's most overrated players according to a recent NBA poll.

7 hours ago

holly-rowe-engages-audience-at-red-butte-gardens-2024...

Michelle Bodkin

ESPN Sports Reporter Holly Rowe: Make The Big Time Where You Are

An intimate hundred or so people gathered at Red Butte Garden last Friday to hear ESPN reporter Holly Rowe talk about her legendary career.

11 hours ago

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers drives to the basket against Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mave...

Ben Anderson

NBA Playoffs Rooting Guide For Utah Jazz Fans

If you're a Utah Jazz fan wanting to watch the NBA playoffs, but don't know who to cheer for, this rooting guide is for you.

3 days ago

Jordan Clarkson #00 of the Utah Jazz...

Ben Anderson

Jordan Clarkson Wants NBA Title, Second Sixth-Man Trophy

Now the elder statesman of the Utah Jazz, Jordan Clarkson has a few to-dos left in the NBA before calling it a career.

3 days ago

Kenneth Lofton Jr. #34 of the Utah Jazz is guarded by Jonathan Kuminga #00 of the Golden State Warr...

Ben Anderson

Three Utah Jazz Players Earn G League Honors

Kenneth Lofton Jr., Jason Preston, and Darius Bazley all took home G League honors after signing with the Utah Jazz this season.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Rudy Gobert Wins Third NBA Defensive Player Of The Year Award