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Source: SUZANNE CORDEIRO / Getty


Rudy Gobert blocked Victor Wembanyama from making history.

Gobert has been named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, marking the fourth time he’s won the award. This ties him with two of the winningest big men in the game: Hall of Famers Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace.

The Timberwolves center previously won the award in 2018, 2019, and 2021 with the Utah Jazz, but this is his first time winning with Minessota.

The 31-year-old’s state proves why he deserves the award, averaging 2.1 blocks a game, ranked second in rebounding, and second in offensive rebounds per game at 3.8.

He spoke to ESPN about what it means to win the awards and tying the legends of Mutombo and Wallace.

“It’s a blessing and an honor to join this small group. 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,” he told ESPN. “I’m grateful that my teammates and this organization believe in me and allowing me to be who I am. It’s always about the team and pushing each other to give our best every day.”

Despite his impressive stats, Gobert didn’t win unanimously, as he received 72 of the 99 available votes.

Surprising no one, fellow Frenchman Wembanyama came in a distant second with 19 votes.

Many thought Wemby would make history as the first player to win Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same year. Instead, he only won the former. Wemby, however, spoke on Gobert’s defensive prowess earlier this year, bragging that Gobert’s years atop the game are numbered.

“I know that Rudy has a very good chance of winning it this year, and it would be deserved. Let him win it now, because after that it’s no longer his turn,” Wembanyama told Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News in March.

See how social media’s reacting to Gobert taking home the Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy as the 2023-24 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year below.

Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert Named NBA Defensive Player Of Year, Social Media Says Victor Wembanyama Was Robbed  was originally published on cassiuslife.com

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