SALT LAKE CITY — Rudy Gobert has now been a finalist for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award for the sixth-straight season.
The league announced the finalists for all of its end-of-season awards on Sunday.
Gobert, who has already won the award three times, was joined by Mikal Bridges of the Phoenix Suns and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics.
In the 2021-22 regular season, Gobert averaged 11 defensive rebounds per game, 0.7 steals per game and 2.1 blocks per game. Smart averaged 3.2 defensive rebounds, 1.7 steals and 0.3 blocks. Bridges averaged 3.3, 1.2 and 0.4.
The winner of the postseason awards will be announced during TNT's coverage of the playoffs. No other Jazzmen were finalists for other awards this year, compared to Utah's previous season when they finished with the best record in the league, Coach Quin Snyder took third in voting for Coach of the Year, Jordan Clarkson won the Sixth Man Award, with Joe Ingles taking second place in the same category.
If Gobert wins the award this year, it will be his fourth time in five seasons. It would also be his second time winning DPOY back-to-back.
He was named as a finalist for the first time in the 2016-17 season but was the runner-up to the Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green.
He won back-to-back DPOY awards in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
He came in third place at the end of the 2019-2020 season, behind the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (winner) and Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis (2nd).
Gobert won his third defensive title last season.
If the three-time All-Star who is in his ninth season with the Jazz wins again this year, he will be tied for the most DPOY awards with Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace. It would also bring the Utah Jazz to a tie with the Detroit Pistons for the team with the most total DPOY awards.
Prior to winning his first DPOY award, Gobert took third place for Most Improved Player in the 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons.
Utah is currently in the first round of playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks. The Jazz won 99-93 in Game 1, and they will face off again in Dallas Monday night for Game 2.