“You are doing something good” | Gobert named All-Defense for sixth straight season
After narrowly failing in his quest to win a third NBA Defensive Player of the Year award last season, Rudy Gobert is still the best defensive big man in the NBA — and there’s no doubt about it.
Announced Friday night – and for the sixth consecutive season – Gobert has been named to the NBA defensive team.
Just a kid from Saint-Quentin
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) May 21, 2022
Gobert was one of three finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year award, having won it three of the past four years. While Boston guard Marcus Smart took home the award, Gobert’s nomination was special as he was the only center/forward listed, the first time that had happened in the past decade.
After dominating defensively for the past six seasons, some in the Utah organization believe he’s been held to an unfair standard given all of his success on the defensive side of the court.
He’s the only player in the game who can simultaneously defend the rim and the perimeter, thanks in large part to his size and athleticism. He affects the game defensively more than any player in the league.
“Rudy is rated on a lot of different things, sometimes two at the same time,” head coach Quin Snyder said. “The fact that we’re even doing this analysis of a guy who can actually protect the rim and go out and challenge all three says a lot about what he’s capable of. His ability to do that is key to how we play in defense.”
Despite his position as one of the greatest defensive players of all time, Gobert has always faced an insane amount of criticism. Many from players, coaches and the media alike don’t give Gobert the respect he deserves – a notion he doesn’t care about as long as the Jazz win.
“If anything, when people keep talking about you, if they’re talking about you in some way, it means you’re doing something right,” Gobert said. “If anything, the more noise there is, the harder it becomes to take these people seriously. When you excel at what you do, the world will recognize you for who you are and what you do. …C is my state of mind.”