European basketball returned to be the main protagonist in the awards ceremony for the best professionals during the 2020-21 NBA regular season after this Wednesday The French center was voted the winner of the Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, from Utah Jazz.
The award was the third he has won since he came to the NBA and It comes a day after another European center, the Serbian Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, received the Most Valuable Player award (MVP).
28-year-old Gobert becomes the fourth player to his career receives the award at least three times, and thus joins Dikembe Mutombo, Ben Wallace and Dwight Howard, who are the only players who they have won it at least three times. Mutombo and Wallace won it four times each, and Howard won it three.
“Is incredible”said Gobert in relation to winning the award three times: “When I started playing basketball as a kid, if anyone He would have told me he was going to be the defensive player of the year, they never I would have believed, much less three times “.
Gobert also said he was grateful to have come so far in a sport that he is also passionate about. The French center finished the regular season with averages of double-doubles with 14.3 points; 13.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks (best mark as a professional).
Utah began its rise to be one of the elite teams in the Western Conference several years ago thanks to a team full of players defenses that connected very well with the huge skill set special features of Gobert, who also has to his credit being the first NBA player who tested positive for COVID-19. This started to suspend on chain all sports competitions in the United States. With other players on the team scoring better, the Jazz have relied more on Gobert to keep the team’s defense at a very high level, although his scoring ability is also good from any position. The formula ended up being successful by concluding the regular season as the fourth best attacking and third best defense in the league, to be the best team in the NBA overall. The Jazz finished with 9 points per 100 possessions by almost three points over their closest competitors Los Angeles Clippers (6.1), whom they are facing in the Western Conference semifinal eliminator with a 1-0 advantage for the Utah team.
Gobert finished with 84 votes for first place and 464 points, followed from afar by Australian point guard Ben Simmons (Philadelphia Sixers), who scored 287 points and was second, while power forward Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors) finished third after receiving 76 points, although he had no vote for first place.
If center Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat) received one for first place, who finished fourth with 31 points, but became the great disappointment individual of the regular season, since it was expected that in the end had better individual and team performance.
Simmons, one of the league’s most versatile defenders thanks At his height and impressive athleticism, he helped lead the second best defense in the league, which, in turn, helped Philadelphia to claim first place in the East.
Green, on the other hand, showed that he is still more than capable of having a significant impact on defense after leading the Warriors to the fifth best defensive rating in the NBA during the season regular.
The NBA has already announced the Sixth Man awards, which the teammate won of Gobert, point guard Jordan Clarkson; the Most Improved Player, who gave it to power forward Julius Randle (New York Knicks); the one of Coach of the Year, who also stayed in New York with the Knicks to receive Tom Thibodeau, and the MVP for Jokic.