Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol has claimed the accolade as the best defensive player in the NBA this season. The Spaniard has been in fine form this season and has been selected as the recipient of the 2012-13 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, making him the first person in the history of the franchise to win the award.
With 1,089 votes up for grabs Gasol stormed to victory with 212 points from a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The 28-year old secured 30 first place votes and pushed the Miami Heat’s Lebron James into second with 149 points (18 first place votes) and Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka into third with 112 points (14 first place votes).
When adding up the stats it becomes clear that Marc Gasol has deserved his Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. The Spanish international is one of only six players in the association to average at least 1.5 blocks (1.7 bpg) and 1.0 steals (1.0 spg). Gasol’s displays have been the foundation for the season at Memphis, where the Grizzlies have been in a particularly miserly mood. The franchise has the meanest defense in the NBA with an average of just 88.7 points per game conceded across the regular season.
Kia Motors, the Korean car company that sponsors the awards will now donate a new 2014 Kia Sorento LX CUV to Gasol’s charity of choice. Gasol has chosen Youth Villages, a non-profit organization that helps emotionally and behaviourally troubled children and their families live better lives.