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

Ben Anderson

Mystery Surrounds Jazz, Raptors Preseason Opener

The Utah Jazz open their preseason on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors and have more questions than answers on what to expect. 
3 days ago
Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder coaching against the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Image...
Ben Anderson

Quin Snyder ‘Consulting’ Lakers New Coaching Staff

Quin Snyder has been consulting new Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham after stepping away from the Utah Jazz in June.
3 days ago
Ben Anderson

Jazz Release 2022-23 Broadcast Schedule

The Utah Jazz released their broadcast schedule ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season including radio broadcasts on the KSL Sports Zone.
5 days ago
Nickeil Alexander-Walker - Utah Jazz - Chicago Bulls...
Ben Anderson

Nickeil Alexander-Walker Standing Out Early At Jazz Camp

Fourth-year guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker has been an early standout at training according to Utah Jazz veteran Mike Conley. 
5 days ago
Utah Jazz home floor at Vivint Smart Home Arena (Photo: Ben Anderson/KSL Sports)...
Ben Anderson

Jazz Will Unveil New Court At Public Scrimmage On October 8

The Utah Jazz will host a public scrimmage on October 8 to give fans a chance to see the new team in action on the redesigned court.
5 days ago
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell defends Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks (Photo by Justin For...
Ben Anderson

Donovan Mitchell Plans To ‘Lock In’ On Defense With Cavs

Donovan Mitchell says he's planning to "lock in" on defense as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers thanks to improved offensive help.
5 days ago
Rudy Gobert Wins Third NBA Defensive Player Of The Year Award