Gobert Makes History With All-Defensive Nods

May 23, 2022, 2:46 PM | Updated: 2:55 pm
All-Defensive First team member Rudy Gobert blocks the shot of Dwight Howard (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Rudy Gobert is the first center in NBA history to earn six All-Defensive first-team nods.

The Utah Jazz star was named to his sixth All-Defensive team on Friday, the sixth consecutive time he’s earned the honor, all six of which have been first-team bids.

With the selection, Gobert has become one of the most decorated defensive centers in league history.

Just nine seasons into his prestigious career, Gobert passed Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeen Olajuwon, and Ben Wallace for the most first-team selections with six.

Gobert has never been named to the All-Defensive second team.

The Jazz center passed Hall of Famer David Robinson and future Hall of Famer Dwight Howard with his fifth selection last season.

Gobert earned the honors after missing out on his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award, finishing third behind winning Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, and second place Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges.

The Jazz center led the NBA in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus and FiveThirtyEight’s Defensive Raptor rankings.

Despite moving atop the list for most first-team selections, Gobert has some work to do to catch to other great defenders in NBA history.

Four players have been named to nine All-Defensive first teams including Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Gary Payton.

Gobert can join Chris Paul, Walt Frazier, and Dennis Rodman with his next first-team selection. He can join Scottie Pippen, Tim Duncan, and Bobbie Jones with two more selections.

Duncan holds the most All-Defensive selections in NBA history with a staggering 15 nods, though only one second-team nod came as a center.

The All-Defensive team is one of the longest-running awards in the NBA dating back to the 1968-69 season.

Unlike All-NBA honors which has a first, second, and third team, the All-Defensive award has just two teams.

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