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NBA: Wolves’ Rudy Gobert wins fourth Defensive Player of the Year crown


Rudy Gobert has become just the third player in NBA history to win the Defensive Player of the Year award four times.

The Minnesota Timberwolves centre, who also earned the Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy in 2018, 2019 and 2021, joins Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace as four-time winners.

Gobert is the first player in Wolves history to win Defensive Player of the Year and completes a French double as compatriot Victor Wembanyama was named Rookie of the Year the previous day.

Led by Gobert, the Timberwolves had the NBA’s best defensive rating, allowed the fewest points per game and held opponents to the lowest field goal percentage in the league.

Owning the league’s No1 defence helped Minnesota finish with a 56-26 record, the second-best record in franchise history and earn the three seed in the Western Conference play-offs, where they currently lead the two-seed Denver Nuggets 2-0 in the semi-finals.

During the regular season, Gobert averaged 14.0 points on better than 66% shooting and a Wolves-best 12.9 rebounds and 2.13 blocks per game – most blocks per game since 2020-21 (2.68 bpg).

He ranked second in the NBA in rebounding (12.9 rpg), field goal percentage (.661) and offensive rebounds (3.8 rpg), was fourth in defensive rebounds (9.2 rpg), sixth in blocks (2.13 bpg) and fifth in double-doubles (54).

Gobert received 72 of a possible 99 first-place votes from the media panel with Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs taking second place and Miami’s Bam Adebayo a distant third.

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