Kevin Garnett Wins NBA Defensive Player of the Year

NEW YORK, April 22, 2008 - The NBA announced today that Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics is the recipient of the 2007-08 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award presented by Kia Motors.

The 6-11 forward led the Celtics in rebounds with a 9.2 average (7.3 defensive rpg), to go along with 18.8 points, 1.2 blocks and 1.4 steals. He recorded a team season-high seven blocks against Chicago on Dec. 12.

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Kevin Garnett accepted the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in Waltham on Tuesday. | Watch KG's Top 10 Defensive Plays
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty

As part of its support of the Defensive Player of the Year Award, Kia Motors will donate a brand-new 2009 Kia Borrego seven-passenger SUV on behalf of Garnett to Boston Centers for Youth and Families, the city's organization supporting the same youth as Kevin's "Big Ticket Challenge" program. Kia Motors will present a Borrego to the charity of choice of each of the four year-end award winners in 2008 as part of the The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors.

Garnett helped the Celtics to league-best records of 66-16 (.805) overall and 31-10 (.738) on the road. Boston held opponents to just 90.3 points (second in the NBA) after allowing 99.2 points per game a season ago. Garnett led the Celtics to the biggest one-year turnaround in NBA history as the team won 42 more games this season than in 2006-07 (24-58), surpassing the previous record of 36 games, set by the San Antonio Spurs in the 1997-98 season.

The 12-year NBA veteran became the 32nd player in league history to record 20,000 career points on March 8 against Memphis. Garnett is only the fourth active player to reach this milestone, joining Phoenix's Shaquille O'Neal (26,296), Denver's Allen Iverson (22,988) and Kobe Bryant (21,619) of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Garnett received 493 points, including 90 first-place votes, from a panel of 124 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Denver's Marcus Camby, who won the award last season, finished second with 178 points and Houston's Shane Battier finished third with 175 points. 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 2007-08 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award presented by Kia Motors is part of a series of on-court performance awards called "The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors." The awards, which are part of a multi-year marketing partnership between Kia Motors America and the NBA, also include the Most Valuable Player, Sixth Man Award, and Most Improved Player. The series also includes the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month presented by Kia Motors.

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