2023–24 NBA Defensive Player of the Year is Rudy Gobert

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rudy gobert
rudy gobert
rudy gobert
rudy gobert

Gobert now shares the record for the most DPOYs earned by a single player with Wallace and Mutombo. At 31, Gobert also became the oldest player to get the accolade.

Gobert improved from his 2022–2023 average of 2.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 2.8 stocks per game to an average of 14 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 2.8 stocks this past regular season. He served as the cornerstone of a Timberwolves defense that developed into one of the league’s greatest defenses, finishing the regular season with the highest defensive efficiency.

Minnesota’s defense had a significant role in both their third-seeded Western Conference finish at the conclusion of the regular season and their current 2-0 lead over the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals.

During the season, Gobert averaged 13.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 2.4 stocks per game in Minnesota’s first five postseason games.

Cholet, 2011–2013

Gobert played primarily for the junior Cholet Basket team from 2009 to 2011. He only participated in one game for the senior team in 2010–11, going 13 minutes with 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block against Pau-Lacq–Orthez.[4] In 29 games for Cholet in 2011–12, he averaged 4.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.[5] In 27 games the following season, in 2012–13, he averaged 8.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

Jazz of Utah (2013–2022)
Season 2013–14: The rookie season

Gobert announced his candidacy for the 2013 NBA Draft and broke the records for standing reach (9 feet 7 inches) and wingspan (7 feet 8+1⁄2 inches) during the 2013 NBA Draft Combine. Known as “The Stifle Tower” because of these stats. A year later, Walter Tavares shattered the record for wingspan.

The Denver Nuggets picked Gobert with the 27th overall selection on June 27, 2013. Later, on draft night, the Utah Jazz acquired him in a trade. He signed a rookie scale deal with the Jazz on July 6 and went on to play in the 2013 NBA Summer League. On November 24, in only his 12th game with the Jazz, Gobert defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder with a season-high 10 points. He was traded to the NBA Development League’s Bakersfield Jam on December 14. In all eight of his Development League games, Gobert started and recorded a double-double in six of them.

Later, on December 21, the Jazz summoned him back, reassigned him on January 4, and called him back again on January 13. During the 2013–14 season, he appeared in 45 of the Jazz’s 82 regular season games, although his playing time was limited.

Gobert started the 2017–18 season with eight double-doubles and a league-best 2.5 blocks per game. On November 12, 2017, he suffered a bone bruise in his right knee, which sidelined him for four to six weeks. He made an unexpected comeback, rejoining the team on December 4 after missing 11 games. 

However, on December 15, he suffered a sprained posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in his left knee, which sidelined him for at least two more weeks.On January 19, he played again, scoring 23 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks in a 117–115 loss to the New York Knicks.

He had a career-high 26 points and 16 rebounds on March 2, 2018, as the Minnesota Timberwolves were defeated 116–108. Along with Karl Malone (1997, 1998, and 1999) and Mark Eaton (1985, 1986, and 1989), he was the third Jazz player in history to receive multiple All-Defensive First Team recognitions when he was chosen to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in May 2018.

He was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in June, making history as the first Jazz player to win the trophy since 1989, when two-time recipient Mark Eaton last took home the trophy. He also became the fifth international, the second Frenchman, the first French-born person, and the 12th center to win the trophy.

In a 117-96 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers on December 25, 2018, Gobert earned a season-high seven blocks.  On December 29, he scored a team-high 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting and pulled down 16 rebounds for his 31st double-double of the year in a 129-97 victory over the New York Knicks.

For the first time since Carlos Boozer did so in February 2010, he had 24 points and 12 rebounds at the half. On January 12, 2019, he recorded a career-high eight assists in a 110–102 victory over the Chicago Bulls.  On January 14, he tied a career high with 25 rebounds in a 100–94 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

He scored a season-high 27 points and set a single-season NBA dunk record on March 25, setting the record for the most points scored in an NBA dunk against the Phoenix Suns. On January 16, he had 23 points and 22 rebounds in a 129–109 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. On March 18, he was named Western Conference Player of the Week, his first player of the week award in his career.

He surpassed Dwight Howard’s 269 dunks from 2007–08 with his 270th dunk of the season. He concluded the regular season with a record 306 dunks. Rudy Gobert was voted the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year at the end-of-season awards ceremony for the second consecutive year.

Gobert was named the French player of the year in 2019 and received the Alain Gilles Trophy. With this, he became the ninth person to win the prize back-to-back and the tenth person to win it many times.

Rudy Gobert became a defensive and offensive mainstay for the Jazz after averaging 15.7 points and 14.6 rebounds in his first 45 games of the 2019–20 campaign. Rudy Gobert and teammate Donovan Mitchell were selected as Western Conference reserves for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game on January 30, 2020.

Following Rudy Gobert’s placement on the injured list due to sickness, the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder game was postponed just before to tip-off on March 11, 2020. After being brought to a nearby hospital, his test results for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic, were positive. The season was subsequently placed on indefinite hold by the NBA.

Just two days before, Gobert had made fun of every microphone and recorder at a news conference about the Utah Jazz’s reaction to the illness after a game against the Pistons in Detroit.

Rudy Gobert expressed regret, stating that his reckless behavior had exposed others to the infection. He also expressed the hope that his experience would serve as a cautionary tale for others to take the virus seriously. He was declared free of the coronavirus on March 27.

According to reports in April, Rudy Gobert’s connection with Mitchell had deteriorated due to Mitchell’s negligent actions after contracting COVID-19, and he acknowledged that the two had not spoken for a while. Gobert made a $500,000 donation to support COVID-19-affected individuals, including part-time workers and COVID-related services.

EventDateDetails
Contract Extension2020-12-20Agreed to a five-year, $205 million contract extension with the Jazz. Biggest ever for a center and third highest in NBA history.
All-Star Selection2021-02-23Selected as Western Conference reserves for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game along with Donovan Mitchell. Second straight All-Star selection.
Career-High Blocks2021-03-22Had a career-high nine blocks, 10 rebounds, and 21 points in a 120–95 win against the Chicago Bulls.
Defensive Player of the Year2021-06-09Named Defensive Player of the Year for the third time. First international player to win four straight defensive player of the year awards.
Playoff Rebounds2021-06-11Grabbed a playoff career-high 20 rebounds in Game 2 of the second round against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Rudy Gobert and the Jazz agreed to a five-year, $205 million contract extension on December 20, 2020. The contract extension signed by Rudy Gobert was the biggest ever for a center and the third highest in NBA history.

Rudy Gobert and teammate Donovan Mitchell were selected as Western Conference reserves for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game on February 23, 2021, making it their second straight All-Star selection. In a 120–95 win against the Chicago Bulls on March 22, Gobert had a career-high nine blocks, 10 rebounds, and 21 points.

Rudy Gobert became the fourth player in NBA history to win the award three or more times when he was named the defensive player of the year on June 9, 2021. Rudy Gobert’s victory also made NBA history the first time that an international player had won four straight defensive player of the year awards. When the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of the second round on June 11, Gobert grabbed a playoff career-high 20 rebounds.

Rudy Gobert was selected as a reserve for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game on February 3, 2022. In the vote for Defensive Player of the Year, he came in third place, behind Mikal Bridges and winner Marcus Smart.

Rudy Gobert shot a career high from the free throw line and led the league in rebounds per game (14.7) and blocks per game (2.1). He also led the league in FG% (71.3% FG) and blocks per game. Gobert was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the sixth time in a row on May 20.

EventDateDetails
Contract Extension2020-12-20Agreed to a five-year, $205 million contract extension with the Jazz. Biggest ever for a center and third highest in NBA history.
All-Star Selection2021-02-23Selected as Western Conference reserves for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game along with Donovan Mitchell. Second straight All-Star selection.
Career-High Blocks2021-03-22Had a career-high nine blocks, 10 rebounds, and 21 points in a win against the Chicago Bulls.
Defensive Player of the Year2021-06-09Named Defensive Player of the Year for the third time. First international player to win four straight defensive player of the year awards.
Playoff Rebounds2021-06-11Grabbed a playoff career-high 20 rebounds in Game 2 of the second round against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Trade to Timberwolves2022-07-06Traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for multiple players and draft picks.
Timberwolves Debut2022-10-20Scored 23 points and pulled down 16 rebounds in his Timberwolves debut, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder.
First 20/20 Performance in Minnesota2022-10-28Scored 22 points and pulled down 21 rebounds in a win against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Game Against Clippers2023-01-06Scored 25 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in a win against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Victory Against Lakers2023-03-03Finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds in a win against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Altercation with Kyle Anderson2023-04-09Had a verbal altercation with teammate Kyle Anderson, resulting in Gobert being ejected and missing one game due to the incident.

Rudy Gobert was dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves on July 6, 2022, in exchange for four first-round selections, a 2026 first-round pick swap, Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, and the draft rights to center Walker Kessler.

In his Timberwolves debut on October 20, Gobert scored 23 points and pulled down 16 rebounds as the team defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 115–108. In a 111–102 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 28, Gobert scored 22 points and pulled down 21 rebounds.

It was his first 20/20 performance in Minnesota. On January 6, 2023, Gobert defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 128–115 with a scoring total of 25 points and 21 rebounds on 11 of 15 field goals.

In a 110–102 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 3, Gobert finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds. On April 9, Gobert and teammate Kyle Anderson got into a violent incident during a game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Following a verbal altercation on the sidelines, Rudy Gobert swiped at Anderson before being led out. After the altercation, which happened in the second quarter, Gobert was ejected from the game early. It was revealed the following day that Gobert will miss one game due to the incident.

EventDateDetails
Contract Extension2020-12-20Agreed to a five-year, $205 million contract extension with the Jazz. Biggest ever for a center and third highest in NBA history.
All-Star Selection2021-02-23Selected as Western Conference reserves for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game along with Donovan Mitchell. Second straight All-Star selection.
Career-High Blocks2021-03-22Had a career-high nine blocks, 10 rebounds, and 21 points in a win against the Chicago Bulls.
Defensive Player of the Year2021-06-09Named Defensive Player of the Year for the third time. First international player to win four straight defensive player of the year awards.
Playoff Rebounds2021-06-11Grabbed a playoff career-high 20 rebounds in Game 2 of the second round against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Trade to Timberwolves2022-07-06Traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for multiple players and draft picks.
Timberwolves Debut2022-10-20Scored 23 points and pulled down 16 rebounds in his Timberwolves debut, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder.
First 20/20 Performance in Minnesota2022-10-28Scored 22 points and pulled down 21 rebounds in a win against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Game Against Clippers2023-01-06Scored 25 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in a win against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Victory Against Lakers2023-03-03Finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds in a win against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Altercation with Kyle Anderson2023-04-09Had a verbal altercation with teammate Kyle Anderson, resulting in Gobert being ejected and missing one game due to the incident.
Incident with Draymond Green2023-11-14Intervened to keep teammate Jaden McDaniels and Warriors guard Klay Thompson apart. Draymond Green seized Gobert in a chokehold. Green, Thompson, and McDaniels were all removed from the game.
Season-High Points Against Hornets2023-12-02Scored a season-high 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting, 12 rebounds, and three blocks in a 123–117 victory against the Charlotte Hornets.
Fourth Defensive Player of the Year AwardN/AAwarded Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth time, tying the record for most wins with Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace.

In an incident during a team fight on November 14, 2023, against the Golden State Warriors, Gobert intervened to keep teammate Jaden McDaniels and Warriors guard Klay Thompson apart. As he attempted to break up the brawl, Warriors forward Draymond Green seized Gobert in a chokehold and dragged him away from the action. As a consequence of their involvement in the altercation, Green, Thompson, and McDaniels were all removed from the game.

Rudy Gobert subsequently referred to Green’s chokehold as “clown behavior” and called him out on it. In a 123–117 victory against the Charlotte Hornets on December 2, Gobert had a season-high 26 points on 10-of–12 shooting, 12 rebounds, and three blocks. Gobert, who led Minnesota’s top-ranked defense, was awarded Defensive Player of the Year. With his fourth win, he now shares the record for most in NBA history with Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace.

He shared on Instagram on February 21, 2024, that he and Julia Bonilla were expecting a child. On May 7, 2024, they announced the birth of their son, Roméo. Due to this birth, he was unable to play in the conference semifinals game two against the Denver Nuggets, which the Timberwolves went on to win.

Rudy Gobert
DPOY
Timberwolves
Minnesota
NBA DPOY
Defensive Player of the Year
2023-2024 season
NBA Playoffs
4th DPOY

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