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HomeSportsBasketballRudy Gobert named Defensive Player of Year for 4th time

Rudy Gobert named Defensive Player of Year for 4th time

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Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth time on Tuesday.

Gobert tied Hall of Fame big men Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace for the most times winning the award in league history. He received 72 first-place votes and 433 points from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

Gobert finished tied for sixth in blocks per game (2.1) and averaged 14 points and 12.9 rebounds in 76 games, his ninth straight season averaging a double-double.

“We love to give individual awards and all these things and it’s great, but you can’t do it alone,” Gobert said. “I really have a lot of gratitude for (Timberwolves president of basketball operations) Tim Connelly, (head coach) Chris Finch, all my teammates allowing me to do what I do best every day. Just try to change the culture in Minnesota.”

But Gobert’s standout achievement this season was anchoring the Timberwolves’ stifling defense. Minnesota ranked first in the regular season in points allowed per game (106.5) and field goal percentage allowed (45 percent) and was top five in blocks (4.5) and rebounds (41.4).

“It’s great to the guys for buying in and coming every single night with the same mindset,” Gobert said. “We really wanted to be a defensive-minded team and we really want to do that so far this year.”

Gobert, who is the first player in Timberwolves franchise history to win the award, won his first three Defensive Player of the Year awards with the Utah Jazz (2018, 2019, 2021). A three-time All-Star, Gobert has averaged 12.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 757 regular-season games during his 11-year career with the Jazz (2013-2022) and Timberwolves (2023-2024).

San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama, who was named NBA Rookie of the Year on Monday, finished second in the voting. Wembanyama, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft, led the league in blocks per game (3.6) and also averaged 1.2 steals per game. He received 19 first-place votes and 245 points.

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (91 points) finished third, Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (83) was fourth and New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones (14) rounded out the top five.

–Field Level Media

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