Draymond Green did not win the 2020-21 Defensive Player of the Year award. In fact, he didn’t receive a single first-place vote.
The Warriors’ future hall-of-fame forward finished third overall in voting, behind the winner Rudy Gobert and Ben Simmons who took second place. Somewhat astoundingly, Green was completely left off of half of ballots.
This is the third NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award for Rudy Gobert. He is the fourth player to win the award at least three times, joining Dikembe Mutombo (four), Ben Wallace (four) and Dwight Howard (three).
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Full voting results ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/Cmv6yR3SnC
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) June 10, 2021
We don’t need to speculate how Green feels about this. Before the results came in, Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks told Green that he didn’t make the top three for the award on her ballot this year. When she asked Green why she had that wrong, he was happy to explain what sets him apart from the likes of Gobert and others.
“You didn’t name not one person who can control the game from the defensive side of the floor,” Green said. “I think what (Gobert) does on the defensive side of the ball is incredible. I think the way he protects the rim is incredible. Defense is more than just protecting the rim.
“Y’all don’t judge defense the same way you judge offense. There is no offensive situation where you don’t want Steph Curry on the floor. There is no offensive situation where you don’t want James Harden on the floor. There is no offensive situation where you don’t want LeBron James on the floor. Well, guess what? There’s no defensive situation where you don’t want me on the floor.
“Everybody like, ‘Look, oh, man, this guy led the league in steals, that guy led the league in blocks.’ But is there a situation where you can put that guy in and make him uncomfortable? For most guys, yes. You can’t put me in a situation on defense and make me uncomfortable.”
Green has only won the DPOY once, in 2017, but made the All-Defensive Team every season from 2015-2019.