NEW YORK, April 23, 2015 – 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.


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 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 a charity of Leonard’s choice on his behalf. 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 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.



PLAYER               TEAM                1st Place (5 Pts)        2nd Place (3 Pts)  3rd Place (1 pt)   Total Points

Kawhi Leonard     San Antonio                37                            41                          25                    333

  Draymond Green   Golden State                45                            25                          17                    317

DeAndre Jordan     L.A. Clippers               32                            25                          26                    261

Anthony Davis       New Orleans                11                            15                          7                      107

Rudy Gobert           Utah                             2                              4                            11                    33

Andrew Bogut        Golden State                0                              6                            13                    31

Tony Allen              Memphis                      1                              4                            12                    29

Tim Duncan            San Antonio                 1                              1                            4                      12

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Charlotte                0                              2                            3                      9

Jimmy Butler          Chicago                        0                              2                            1                      7

Marc Gasol             Memphis                      0                              2                            1                      7

Joakim Noah           Chicago                        0                              1                            1                      4

  LeBron James         Cleveland                     0                              0                            3                      3

Trevor Ariza            Houston                       0                              1                            0                      3

  Patrick Beverley     Houston                       0                              0                            1                      1

DeMarre Carroll     Atlanta                         0                              0                            1                     1

 Nerlens Noel          Philadelphia                 0                              0                            1                      1

  Chris Paul               L.A. Clippers               0                              0                            1                      1

  Hassan Whiteside   Miami                           0                              0                            1                      1 


Below is the list of all-time winners:





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


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