First Spurs player to win award since David Robinson in 1992
POSTED: Apr 23, 2015 1:32 PM ET
UPDATED: Apr 23, 2015 4:48 PM ET
Kawhi Leonard is the 2015 KIA NBA Defensive Player of the Year
Watch some defensive highlights from Kawhi Leonard, the 2014-15 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
NEW YORK — The San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard, who became only the sixth forward to lead the NBA in steals per game since the league started tracking the statistic 42 years ago, is the recipient of the 2014-15 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, the NBA announced today. He becomes the first Spurs player to win the award since David Robinson in 1991-92.
Kawhi on Defensive Support
Kawhi Leonard says his coaching staff and teammates is the reason he won the 2015 KIA NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.
Leonard garnered 37 first-place votes and 333 total points from a panel of 129 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. He edged the Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green, who tallied 45 first-place votes and 317 points. The Los Angeles Clippers' DeAndre Jordan finished third with 261 points (32 first-place votes). Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote received.
The 6-7 Leonard averaged career highs of 2.31 steals and 5.9 defensive rebounds to help anchor a Spurs defense that held opponents under 100 points per game (97.0) for the 20th consecutive season. According to NBA.com/Stats, San Antonio ranked third in the NBA in defensive rating, allowing 99.6 points per 100 possessions. The Spurs gave up only 97.1 points per 100 possessions when Leonard was on the court, a defensive rating that would have led the league over the entire season. When Leonard was off the court, though, San Antonio permitted 102.2 points per 100 possessions, a league-average defensive rating.
As part of its support of the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, Kia Motors America (KMA) will donate an all-new and more capable than ever 2016 Kia Sorento LX CUV to Respite Care of San Antonio, Inc. -- which provides care for children with special needs who have been taken into protective custody as a result of abuse and neglect -- on behalf of Leonard. Kia Motors will present a Sorento to the charity of choice of each of five 2014-15 year-end award winners as part of the Kia NBA Performance Awards. After this season, Kia Motors will have donated a total of 38 new vehicles to charitable organizations since its support of the NBA's prestigious honors began in 2008.
The 2014-15 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award is part of the Kia NBA Performance Awards, a series of oncourt performance awards. The series, in its eighth season, is part of a multiyear marketing partnership between KMA and the NBA, and includes five of the league's most prestigious year-end honors: Kia Most Valuable Player, Kia Defensive Player of the Year, Kia Sixth Man Award, Kia Most Improved Player and Kia Rookie of the Year. The series also includes the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month and the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month during the regular season. Kia Motors is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA, and the Kia Optima is the league's Official Vehicle. For more information, please visit www.kia.com/NBA.
For the second year in a row, complete media voting results for each NBA annual award will be posted on NBA.com/official after the announcement of each winner. Click here for those results.
Below are the balloting results for the 2014-15 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.
Season Winner, Team
1982-83: Sidney Moncrief, Milwaukee
1983-84: Sidney Moncrief, Milwaukee
1984-85: Mark Eaton, Utah
1985-86: Alvin Robertson, San Antonio
1986-87: Michael Cooper, L.A. Lakers
1987-88: Michael Jordan, Chicago
1988-89: Mark Eaton, Utah
1989-90: Dennis Rodman, Detroit
1990-91: Dennis Rodman, Detroit
1991-92: David Robinson, San Antonio
1992-93: Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston
1993-94: Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston
1994-95: Dikembe Mutombo, Denver
1995-96: Gary Payton, Seattle
1996-97: Dikembe Mutombo, Atlanta
1997-98: Dikembe Mutombo, Atlanta
1998-99: Alonzo Mourning, Miami
1999-00: Alonzo Mourning, Miami
2000-01: Dikembe Mutombo, Philadelphia
2001-02: Ben Wallace, Detroit
2002-03: Ben Wallace, Detroit
2003-04: Ron Artest, Indiana
2004-05: Ben Wallace, Detroit
2005-06: Ben Wallace, Detroit
2006-07: Marcus Camby, Denver
2007-08: Kevin Garnett, Boston
2008-09: Dwight Howard, Orlando
2009-10: Dwight Howard, Orlando
2010-11: Dwight Howard, Orlando
2011-12: Tyson Chandler, New York
2012-13: Marc Gasol, Memphis
2013-14: Joakim Noah, Chicago
2014-15: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio