Mark Eaton, the 7-foot, 4-inch center of the Utah Jazz who ranked second in blocked shots and anchored the league's stingiest defense, today was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in the closest balloting in the award's history.
Eaton received 26 votes from a nationwide panel of 85 members of the media--three from each league city and 10 representatives of the national media--to edge Akeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets and Dennis Rodman of the Detroit Pistons. Olajuwon received 25 votes and Rodman 23.
Eaton also won the award in 1985 and joins Sidney Moincrief of Milwaukee as the only two-time winners.
Manute Bol of the Golden State Warriors finished fourth in the balloting with four votes, followed by Michael Jordan of Chicago with 3 and Patrick Ewing of New York with 2.