SALT LAKE CITY — The NBA announced Wednesday that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was named the Kia NBA defensive player of the year, marking the third time he's won the award.
Gobert led the league among qualified players in defensive rating, defensive win shares and defensive rebounds and was second in blocks per game during the 2020-21 season. He also led the NBA in +/- and total rebounds.
On the offensive side, he led the NBA in field goal percentage, dunks and was second in screen assists per game.
In a tweet Wednesday night, Gobert said he is grateful for the support he has received. "Thankful for it all... the doubters, the supporters, and more importantly my teammates and all the amazing people around me that push me to be better everyday," Gobert tweeted. "We only getting started."
Thankful for it all... the doubters, the supporters, and more importantly my teammates and all the amazing people around me that push me to be better everyday. We only getting started 🙏🏽🔮📈. https://t.co/oqtgdZ9IKg— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) June 10, 2021
Gobert joins Dwight Howard, Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace as the only NBA players to earn the award three or more times.
With this year's win, Gobert passed the late Mark Eaton for the most Defensive Player of the Year honors in Jazz History. Eaton won the award in 1985 and 1989.
Other finalists for the award were Philadelphia's Ben Simmons and Golden State's Draymond Green.
Gobert received 84 first-place votes and earned 464 points from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters.