Timberwolves' Rudy Gobert wins 4th NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award

Gobert's four Defensive Player of the Year Awards are tied for the most in NBA history.

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The Stifle Tower could not be trifled with this season.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was named the 2023-24 NBA Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday. It marks the fourth time the French big man has won the award, tying him with Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace for the most all time.

Gobert beat out Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, the other two finalists for the award, in voting to earn the Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy.

Gobert claimed 72 first-place votes to dominate the list, while Wembanyama had 19 and finished second.

Adebayo and Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis came in third and fourth in total points, respectively.

Here's how the full list panned out with players who received at least one vote:

Gobert made franchise history with his win, as he is the first Timberwolves player to ever be named NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He's the second Minnesota big man to win a season-long award this year, joining Sixth Man of the Year Naz Reid.

The 31-year-old center won his previous three Defensive Player of the Year honors as a member of the Utah Jazz in 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2020-21. He went from Utah to Minnesota in a 2022 blockbuster trade, and his fit with the Timberwolves really began to click in 2023-24, as he averaged 12.9 rebounds per game (second in the NBA) and 2.1 blocks per game (tied for sixth in the NBA) to go along with 14.0 points per game.

It's been a week to remember for Gobert. Fresh off a first-round sweep of the Phoenix Suns, Gobert helped guide the Timberwolves for a Game 1 road victory against the defending-champion Denver Nuggets. He then missed Game 2 to be with his girlfriend, Julia Bonilla, for the birth of their first child on Monday. Minnesota held the fort without him, as the team put on a defensive masterclass in a 106-80 victory in Denver on Monday night.

The Timberwolves will return to Minnesota for Friday's Game 3 with a chance to move one step closer to their first Western Conference finals appearance in 20 years.

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