Kawhi Leonard won his second straight NBA defensive player of the year award after helping the San Antonio Spurs have the league’s best defense.
Leonard beat out Draymond Green in voting Monday to become the first non-center to win the award in consecutive seasons since Dennis Rodman in 1989-90 and 1990-91.
The 6-foot-7 Leonard received 84 first-place votes and 547 points from a panel of 130 sports writers and broadcasters throughout the U.S. and Canada. Green, the Golden State Warriors’ All-Star forward, was runner-up for the second straight year with 44 first-place votes and 421 points.
Miami center Hassan Whiteside was third with 83 points and two first-place votes. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan was fourth with 50 points. He did not receive a first-place vote.
The Spurs were a franchise-record 67-15 this season and allowed a league-low 92.9 points per game. Leonard was 12th in the league in steals and averaged a career-best 0.99 blocks.
Detroit Pistons Coach Stan Van Gundy was fined $25,000 for public criticism of officiating. Van Gundy made his comments in a live television interview during the Pistons’ 106-101 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Van Gundy said that Cavaliers star LeBron James doesn’t get called for offensive fouls and “he gets to do what he wants.”
Syracuse freshman guard Malachi Richardson is entering his name into the NBA draft but will not sign with an agent. Richardson started all 37 games and averaged 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 34.4 minutes.