On the heels of a 112-109 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game One of the Western Conference semifinals, a game that reached the last possession, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert had one more reason to celebrate.
Gobert, the 27th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, was announced Wednesday as the 2020-21 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. This is the third time Joubert has won the award in the past four years.
Rudy Gobert is 2020-21 DPOY 👏
He is the fourth player in NBA history to win the award three times. pic.twitter.com/4HUFDKaFun
– Bleacher Report (BleacherReport) June 10, 2021
Joubert received 84 out of 100 votes in first place and finished with a total of 464 points. Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, who finished second with 15 votes, came first and 287 overall points.
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and Miami Heat center Pam Adebayo also received votes.
For Joubert, this is a historic achievement. Goubert is the fourth player in NBA history to win the award three times, joining Dwight Howard (3), Ben Wallace (4) and Dikembe Mutomobo (4), the last two being the Hall of Famers.
Gobert is one of the big men’s best at blocking strikes and one of the most athletic too, blessed with elite blast strength and lateral agility.
The Frenchman led the league in every defensive rebound (10.1) and total defensive rebounds (720). He also led the league in total blocked shots (190) and finished second in the league in defensive winning quotas, which explains the defensive effect a player has on his team’s chances of winning.
These numbers helped the Jazz take third place in the league’s defensive rating (107.5) and first on record (52-20).
Players with 3 DPOY Trophies:
Rudy Gobert pic.twitter.com/oB9MWaR9v6
– StatMuse (statmuse) June 10, 2021
“It’s unbelievable,” Joubert said of winning the award three times. “When I started basketball as a kid, if someone had told me I would be the best defensive player of the year, I would have never believed them, let alone three times.”