Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, the centerpiece of a defense which held opponents to a league-low 91.8 ppg, is the recipient of the 2013-14 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, the NBA announced today. Noah becomes the first Bulls player since Michael Jordan in 1987-88 to earn the honor.
Noah received 555 of a possible 1,125 points, including 100 first-place votes, from a panel of125 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Indiana’s Roy Hibbert (166 points, eight first-place votes) and the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan (121 points, eight first-place votes) finished second and third, respectively. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote received.
“Joakim is many things for our team and he has proven to be a terrific competitor, leader and teammate. But what Joakim truly is, is a winner,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. “He will be the first to say that this is a team award, but he sets the tone for our defense and I cannot think of anyone who is more deserving of such a prestigious individual honor. The organization is very proud of Joakim and wants to congratulate him for being named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year.”
“We are very pleased that Jo has been recognized as the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year. It is a richly deserved honor,” said Chicago Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. “He continues to grow as a player each and every year; he is now a two-time NBA All-Star, as well as NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Most importantly, he is being recognized for his contributions to winning.”
Noah, who appeared in 80 of Chicago’s 82 games, ranked sixth in the NBA in rebounding (11.3 rpg), 12th in blocks (1.51 bpg) and added 1.24 steals. He was one of just three players (Detroit’s Andre Drummond and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis) to average at least 10.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals. Behind Noah, the Bulls held opponents to a .430 field goal percentage, second-stingiest in the league.
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