NEW YORK, April 18, 2011 – Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic is the recipient of the 2010-11 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, the NBA announced today. Howard becomes the first player to earn the honor three straight seasons; only Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace, with four each, have won the award more times.
The 6-11 center led the league with 66 double-doubles, including six 20-point/20-rebound efforts, while ranking second in rebounds (14.1 rpg) and fourth in blocks (2.38 bpg). With Howard manning the middle, the Magic allowed 93.5 ppg, ranking fourth in that category. The seventh-year veteran reached several historical milestones this season, including:
• On March 1 vs. New York, Howard, at 25 years and 83 days old, became the youngest player in NBA history to amass 7,000 career rebounds, passing Wilt Chamberlain, who was 26 years and 128 days old when he passed the 7,000-rebound plateau.
• He recorded at least 1,000 rebounds and 100 blocked shots for the sixth straight year; since blocked shots were officially tracked in 1973-74, only Moses Malone has done it more (seven seasons).
• He became one of only five players in NBA history since blocked shots became an official statistic in 1973-74 to record at least 6,000 rebounds and 1,000 blocked shots in his first 500 games.
As part of its support of the Defensive Player of the Year Award, Kia Motors America will donate a new Kia Sorento CUV to BETA Center, a private, nonprofit organization with 32 years of experience helping families in the greater Orlando area. Kia Motors will present a brand new Sorento to the charity of choice of each of four 2010-11 season-end award winners as part of the “The Kia NBA Performance Awards.” Following this season, Kia Motors will have donated a total of 16 new vehicles to charitable organizations since its support of the NBA’s prestigious year-end honors began with the 2007-2008 season.
Howard received 585 points, including 114 first-place votes, from a panel of 120 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Boston’s Kevin Garnett finished second with 77 points and Dallas’ Tyson Chandler finished third with 70 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 2010-11 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award is part of a series of on-court performance awards called “The Kia NBA Performance Awards.” The series, currently in its fourth season, is a significant part of the multiyear marketing partnership between Kia Motors America and the NBA, and also includes the Most Improved Player, Sixth Man and Most Valuable Player of the Year Awards. It also includes the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month which are awarded during the regular season. For more information on the “The Kia NBA Performance Awards” visit www.NBA.com/performanceawards.