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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 MoncriefMark EatonDennis RodmanHakeem OlajuwonAlonzo 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 RobertsonMichael CooperMichael JordanGary Payton, Ron Artest (known now as Metta Sandiford-Artest), and Kawhi Leonard. Payton is the only point guard to have won. Jordan, Olajuwon, David RobinsonKevin 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.

Winners

Season Player Position Nationality Team
1982–83 Sidney Moncrief Guard USA Flag.png United States Milwaukee Bucks
1983–84 Sidney Moncrief (2) Guard USA Flag.png United States Milwaukee Bucks
1984–85 Mark Eaton Center USA Flag.png United States Utah Jazz
1985–86 Alvin Robertson Guard USA Flag.png United States San Antonio Spurs
1986–87 Michael Cooper Guard/Forward USA Flag.png United States Los Angeles Lakers
1987–88 Michael Jordan Guard USA Flag.png United States Chicago Bulls
1988–89 Mark Eaton (2) Center USA Flag.png United States Utah Jazz
1989–90 Dennis Rodman Forward USA Flag.png United States Detroit Pistons
1990–91 Dennis Rodman (2) Forward USA Flag.png United States Detroit Pistons
1991–92 David Robinson Center USA Flag.png United States San Antonio Spurs
1992–93 Hakeem Olajuwon Center Nigeria Flag.png Nigeria Houston Rockets
1993–94 Hakeem Olajuwon (2) Center Nigeria Flag.png Nigeria Houston Rockets
1994–95 Dikembe Mutombo Center Democratic Republic of Congo Flag.png Zaire Denver Nuggets
1995–96 Gary Payton Guard USA Flag.png United States Seattle SuperSonics
1996–97 Dikembe Mutombo (2) Center Democratic Republic of Congo Flag.png Zaire Atlanta Hawks
1997–98 Dikembe Mutombo (3) Center Democratic Republic of Congo Flag.png Democratic Republic of the Congo Atlanta Hawks
1998–99 Alonzo Mourning Center USA Flag.png United States Miami Heat
1999–00 Alonzo Mourning (2) Center USA Flag.png United States Miami Heat
2000–01 Dikembe Mutombo (4) Center Democratic Republic of Congo Flag.png Democratic Republic of the Congo Philadelphia 76ers
2001–02 Ben Wallace Center USA Flag.png United States Detroit Pistons
2002–03 Ben Wallace (2) Center USA Flag.png United States Detroit Pistons
2003–04 Ron Artest Forward USA Flag.png United States Indiana Pacers
2004–05 Ben Wallace (3) Center USA Flag.png United States Detroit Pistons
2005–06 Ben Wallace (4) Center USA Flag.png United States Detroit Pistons
2006–07 Marcus Camby Center USA Flag.png United States Denver Nuggets
2007–08 Kevin Garnett Forward/Center USA Flag.png United States Boston Celtics
2008–09 Dwight Howard Center USA Flag.png United States Orlando Magic
2009–10 Dwight Howard (2) Center USA Flag.png United States Orlando Magic
2010–11 Dwight Howard (3) Center USA Flag.png United States Orlando Magic
2011–12 Tyson Chandler Center USA Flag.png United States New York Knicks
2012–13 Marc Gasol Center Flag of Spain.svg Spain Memphis Grizzlies
2013–14 Joakim Noah Center Flag of France.png France Chicago Bulls
2014–15 Kawhi Leonard Forward USA Flag.png United States San Antonio Spurs
2015–16 Kawhi Leonard (2) Forward USA Flag.png United States San Antonio Spurs
2016–17 Draymond Green Forward USA Flag.png United States Golden State Warriors
2017–18 Rudy Gobert Center Flag of France.png France Utah Jazz
2018–19 Rudy Gobert (2) Center Flag of France.png France Utah Jazz
2019–20 Giannis Antetokounmpo Forward Greece Flag.png Greece Milwaukee Bucks
2020–21 Rudy Gobert (3) Center Flag of France.png France Utah Jazz
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