Rudy Gobert named 2024 NBA Defensive Player of the Year | National

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert won the 2024 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award on Tuesday, tying a league record by taking the honor for the fourth time.

The 31-year-old Frenchman previously captured the award in 2018, 2019 and 2021 with the Utah Jazz and was a key player this season on a T-Wolves team that was the NBA’s top-ranked defensive club.

Gobert tied the all-time record of four Defensive Player of the Year awards, won by Detroit’s Ben Wallace (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006) and Dikembe Mutombo in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001 with Denver, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

The 7-foot-1 star missed Minnesota’s playoff win in Denver on Monday so he could be with his girlfriend Julia Bonilla, who gave birth to their son on Monday.

“Romeo is the name and he is doing great,” Gobert told American NBA telecaster TNT. “Many blessings. I’m just very grateful.”

Gobert’s fourth best defenseman award in seven years earned him 72 first-place votes in a media panel vote with fellow American Victor Wembanyama, the 20-year-old San Antonio Spurs prodigy who was named NBA Rookie of the Year on Monday, and second with 19 first-place votes and Miami’s Bam Adebayo third with three.

Gobert averaged 14.0 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocked shots and 1.3 assists per game for the Timberwolves this season.

“Rudy has pushed the defensive culture here,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. “It’s a testament to his impact, his presence and what he brought to the team: how important defense is and how great it can be when we play on it.”

Gobert, traded to Minnesota from Utah in July 2022, became the first T-Wolves player to win the best defenseman award.

The Timberwolves defeated Phoenix in the first round of the NBA play-offs and have a 2-0 lead over defending champion Denver after two road victories.

Gobert, 31, helped France to Olympic silver in Tokyo and will be a key player for his home country at the Paris Olympics.