NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award

The NBA's Defensive Player of the Year Award is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1982–83 NBA season to the best defensive player of the regular season. The winner is selected by a panel of 124 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada, each of whom casts a vote for first, second and third place selections. Each first-place vote is worth five points, second-place votes are worth three points, and a third-place vote is worth one. The player with the highest point total, regardless of the number of first-place votes, wins the award.

Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace have each won the award a record four times. Dwight Howard is the only player to have won the award in three consecutive seasons. Sidney Moncrief, Mark Eaton, Dennis Rodman, Hakeem Olajuwon, Alonzo Mourning, Kawhi Leonard, and Rudy Gobert have each won it twice. The most recent award recipient is Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Although five of the first six winners were perimeter players, the award has traditionally been given to big men who rebound and block shots. Only seven perimeter players have been honored: Moncrief, Alvin Robertson, Michael Cooper, Michael Jordan, Gary Payton, Ron Artest (known now as Metta Sandiford-Artest), and Kawhi Leonard. Payton is the only point guard to have won. Jordan, Olajuwon, David Robinson, Kevin Garnett and Antetokounmpo are the only winners to have also won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) during their careers; Jordan, Olajuwon and Antetokounmpo won both awards in the same season. In Olajuwon's case, he is the only one to have also won the NBA Finals MVP Award and the NBA championship in the same season. On four occasions, the Defensive Player of the Year recipient was not voted to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in the same year. Robertson in 1986, Mutombo (1995), Tyson Chandler (2012), and Marc Gasol (2013) were instead named to the second team. Whereas the Defensive Player of the Year is voted on by the media, the All-Defensive teams were voted on by NBA coaches prior to 2014. Michael Cooper and Marcus Camby are the only two winners to never have been an All-Star.


head shot of Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is one of five players to have won both an MVP and a Defensive Player of the Year award in their career.
head shot of David Robinson
David Robinson won the award in the 1991–92 NBA season.
Gary Payton is the only point guard to win the award.
Dwight Howard at a game
Dwight Howard has won the award three consecutive times in his career.

Multi-time winners

See also


  • "Defensive Player of the Year". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on February 20, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2008.
  • "Defensive Player of the Year Award Winners". Archived from the original on August 5, 2011. Retrieved July 10, 2008.

Uses material from the Wikipedia article NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.