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 and Rudy Gobert are the only players to have won the award in three consecutive seasons. Sidney Moncrief, Mark Eaton, Dennis Rodman, Hakeem Olajuwon, Alonzo Mourning, and Kawhi Leonard have each won it twice. The most recent award recipient is Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.
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 and Olajuwon 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.