SALT LAKE CITY — As the mayor of Swat Lake City, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has earned a worldwide reputation as one of the best defenders in the NBA.
On Wednesday, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year was selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive First Team for the third consecutive season. He is also a top three finalist for the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year award which will be presented on June 24 at the annual NBA Awards.
“Always an honor,” Gobert told the Deseret News. “I don’t take it for granted, and I see it as reward of what we do as a team. None of that is possible without the work of my teammates and the coaching staff.”
Gobert shares All-Defensive First Team honors with Oklahoma City’s Paul George, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Boston’s Marcus Smart and Milwaukee’s Eric Bledsoe.
New Orleans’ Jrue Holiday, Golden State’s Klay Thompson, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Golden State’s Draymond Green and Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard were honored on the second team.2 comments on this story
Gobert received the most first-team votes (97) after posting a career-high 15.9 points and 12.9 rebounds per game this season.
The Jazz star also held the second-best defensive rating (105.2) in the league as he became the third player in franchise history to receive All-Defensive first team honors at least three times, alongside Mark Eaton and Karl Malone. He currently ranks fifth in blocks in franchise history (895) after averaging 2.3 swats per game.
No NBA player has more blocks than Gobert (530) over the last three seasons.