Jazz Teammates Celebrate Gobert Winning Third DPOY
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Rudy Gobert won his third Defensive Player of the Year Award Wednesday night, and his Utah Jazz teammates didn’t miss their opportunity to congratulate the DPOY in person and online.
First, Gobert’s teammates surprised the center by waiting for him in the team’s locker room, dousing the two-time All-Star with water when he saw the trophy sitting in his locker.
Derrick Favors introduced the setup, saying they were going to surprised Gobert before guard Joe Ingles congratulated his teammate on the award.
Then, Gobert’s teammates headed to Twitter to celebrate the three-time winner.
“Congrats big man,” team owner Ryan Smith tweeted. “Well deserved. 3x”
Smith bought the team late last year and has been an avid participant and supporter of his team’s players on social media.
Minority owner Dwyane Wade also congratulated Gobert.
“Congrts @,” Wade tweeted. “3x Defensive Player Of The Year! ”
Gobert wasn’t shy about recognizing the role of his teammates after winning the award.
“It takes a team effort,” Gobert said. It takes toughness, mental toughness. It’s just hard work and dedication.”
Though Gobert’s teammates tried to surprise him with the celebration, he said he knew something was up before finding the award at his locker.
“I knew something was fishy,” Gobert said. “But, just seeing how my teammates were happy for me, it really made me happy.”
The Jazz have been well represented in the league’s end-of-season awards. Jordan Clarkson was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in late May (Ingles finished second), while coach Quin Snyder finished third in Coach of the Year voting.
Donovan Mitchell is one of 10 finalists for the NBA Community Assist Award for his charitable work throughout the season.
“Yessir!!!” Mitchell tweeted at Gobert. “Congrats big fella!!!! @.”
Georges Niang also added his congratulations to the timeline.
“Rudy g 3 time!!!!!!!” Niang tweeted.
Gobert is only the fourth player in league history to win at least three Defensive Player of the Year Awards, joining Hall of Famers Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo, and current Philadelphia 76ers big man Dwight Howard.
It’s the 13th end-of-season award in team history.