Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert Wins NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award for the 4th Time

Rudy Gobert with France in 2019
Rudy Gobert with France in 2019. Photo by Shutterstock (10371951a)

The Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the 2023-24 season. This is the fourth time in his career that Gobert won the award.

Gobert received 72 first-place votes out of 99 available and had a total of 433 points. San Antonio Spurs’ rookie Victor Wembanyama, who is Gobert’s teammate with the France basketball team, finished second with 19 first-place votes and 245 points. Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo was third, receiving three first-place votes and 91 points.

Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis and Boston Celtics’ Jrue Holiday also received first-place votes.

With his fourth DPOY award, Gobert tied the NBA record. Besides Gobert, only Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace, both Hall of Famers, have won the honors four times.

Speaking with NBA Tip-Off on TNT after the news was announced, Gobert credited the Timberwolves organization and his teammates for his achievement.

“We love to get individual awards and all these things, and it’s great, but you can’t do it alone. I really have a lot of gratitude for … all my teammates for believing in me, allowing me to do what I do best every day and just try to change the culture here in Minnesota. It’s great for the guys for buying in,” said Gobert.

Gobert’s statistics might not be eye-catching, as he finished the regular season with 14.0 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks. However, advanced stats paint a bigger picture. The 45.2 effective field goal percentage he held his opponents to on contested shots was the lowest among players who contested at least 1,000 shots. Additionally, he was the motor of Wolves’ defense that had the best defensive rating in the league at 108.4.