Smart Named 2021-22 Kia NBA Defensive Player Of The Year

BOSTON, MA – Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been named the 2021-2022 KIA NBA Defensive Player of the Year, the NBA announced today. Smart, currently the team’s longest-tenured player in his eighth season with the Celtics, becomes the first guard to win the league’s annual honor since Gary Payton in 1995-96.

Smart finished the year ranked sixth in the NBA in steals per game (1.7), and fifth in defensive win shares (10.3), anchoring a Celtics defense that led the NBA with a defensive rating of 106.2 in 2021-22. He ranked ninth in the NBA and was fifth amongst all guards with a defensive rating of 105.2, while finishing first in the league with 1.1 loose balls recovered per contest.

In being named the league’s top defensive player, Smart joins Kevin Garnett (2007-08) as the only two Celtics players to ever claim the annual honor since its creation in 1982.

A link to view today’s award unveiling can be found here.