NEW YORK — Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has been named the 2020-21 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, the NBA announced today.
This marks the third NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award for Gobert, who also earned the honor in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. The 7-1 French native is the fourth player to win the award at least three times, joining Dikembe Mutombo (four), Ben Wallace (four) and Dwight Howard (three).
Gobert received 84 first-place votes and earned 464 points from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons finished in second place with 287 points (15 first-place votes). Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, the 2016-17 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, finished in third place with 76 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.
In his eighth NBA season, Gobert led the league in defensive rebounds per game (10.1), total defensive rebounds (720) and total blocked shots (190) and ranked second in blocked shots per game (2.70). He recorded six games with least 15 defensive rebounds and eight games with five or more blocks. Gobert grabbed a season-high 20 defensive rebounds against the Warriors on March 14 and blocked a career-high nine shots against the Chicago Bulls on March 22.
According to NBA Advanced Stats, Gobert ranked second in the NBA in defensive win shares, which measures a player’s defensive impact on winning. He defended the most field goal attempts at the rim in the NBA (549) and held opponents to 50.1 percent shooting on those shots, the third-lowest mark among the 27 players who defended at least 300 shots at the rim this season.
Behind Gobert, Utah finished third in the NBA in defensive rating (107.5) and second in opponents’ field goal percentage (44.7). The strong defense helped propel the Jazz to a league-leading 52-20 record and the top seed in the Western Conference for the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Selected as an NBA All-Star for the second time, Gobert averaged 14.3 points and 13.5 rebounds in 71 games this season. Gobert led the NBA in total rebounds (960) and ranked second in rebounds per game. He also shot an NBA-high 67.5 percent from the field, leading the league in that category for the second time in the last three seasons.
Gobert, the 27th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, has career averages of 12.0 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.24 blocks in 545 games, all with the Jazz. He was voted to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in each of the previous four seasons.
The voting results for the 2020-21 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award are below. The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP. Complete ballots for each voter will be posted at PR.NBA.com after the announcement of all end-of-season awards.
VOTING RESULTS: 2020-21 KIA NBA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Below is the list of winners of the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.
KIA NBA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR WINNERS
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 – Metta World Peace, 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
2015-16 – Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio
2016-17 – Draymond Green, Golden State
2017-18 – Rudy Gobert, Utah
2018-19 – Rudy Gobert, Utah
2019-20 – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee
2020-21 – Rudy Gobert, Utah