NBA: Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert named 2023-24 Defensive Player of the Year

NBA: Timberwolves star Gobert apologises after punching teammate

Minnesota Timberwolves center Ruby Gobert has been named the 2023–24 NBA Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY), the league announced on Tuesday night.

Gobert, who missed Minnesota’s Western Conference semifinal Game 2 win over the Denver Nuggets due to the birth of his son, claims the award for the fourth time in his 11-year NBA career.

Since the annual award presentation started in the 1982-83 season, the Frenchman, who will receive the Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy, becomes just the third player to win the DPOY award four times, joining Hall of Famers Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace.

The 31-year-old won the award three times during his nine-year playing run with the Utah Jazz, in 2018, 2019, and 2021. However, since moving to Minnesota in 2022, this is his first DPOY honour, and he makes history as the first Wolves player to win the accolade.

Gobert beat compatriot Victor Wembanyama, who was crowned the Rookie of the Year on Monday, and Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo to the award, whose winner was revealed on the TNT’s pregame show.

He received 72 first-place votes for a total of 433 voting points; Wembanyama was second with 19 first-place votes; and Adebayo finished third with just three first-place votes.

Gobert averaged 14.0 points as well as a team-high 12.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game this season, signalling a huge improvement in his game after finishing last season with averages of 11.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.

The 7-foot-1 Frenchman shot 66.1% from the field throughout the season, finishing second in field goal percentage. He also ranked second in rebounding, second in offensive rebounds, fourth in defensive rebounds, sixth in blocks, and fifth in double-doubles (54).

All season long, Gobert has anchored the Timberwolves defense, which led the league in defensive rating. The Wolves mean defense allowed the fewest points per game of any team in the NBA this season, and they held opponents to the lowest field goal percentage in the league.

The Olympic silver medallist was instrumental in the Timberwolves impressive regular season record as they finished 56-26, posting the second-best record in franchise history, to earn the third seed in the West.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top Stories