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It is often said that defense wins championships. It is also said that defense can lead to easy offense. The Defensive Player of the Year award is given to the player whose impact on the defensive end cannot be ignored. They are a nuisance to opposing teams, and ultimately, their performance on the defensive end can help their team secure the win. Players like Gary Payton, David Robinson, Kevin Garnett, and others have won the award in the past, and this year’s winner is no stranger to this award. The Defensive Player of the Year is Rudy Gobert.

Gobert was named Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday. Gobert averaged 2.1 blocks this season, and he was one of the reasons Minnesota was the best defensive team in the league (with a defensive rating of 108.4).

Gobert won his first DPOY back in 2018. He went on to win it in 2019 and 2021 (the year he averaged a career-high 2.7 blocks) as well. Gobert is now a four-time Defensive Player of the Year, and joins Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo as the only players to win it four times. He spoke to ESPN about the achievement.

“It’s a blessing and an honor to join this small group,” Gobert said. “These two guys are legends. Every story is unique. I will keep writing mine and try to be the best version of myself every day and enjoy every step of the way.”

Victor Wembanyama and Bam Adebayo were also in the running for DPOY. Wembanyama led the league in blocks with 3.6 per game. Wembanyama finished second in DPOY voting. He nearly had a chance to make history as the first player to win Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Adebayo finished third in DPOY voting.

The Timberwolves played without Gobert in Game 2 of their series against the Denver Nuggets. Gobert missed the game due to the birth of his son. The Timberwolves managed to win that game and still looked like a defensive threat.

Gobert remains an elite defensive player, and before it is said and done, one has to wonder. Will he win another Defensive Player of the Year award?

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