Chicago Bulls star center Joakim Noah is the NBA’s 2013-2014 Defensive Player of the Year. Not a surprising choice for a defensive stalwart who anchors one of the top defensive teams in the NBA.
Bulls insider Aggrey Sam was among the first who broke the news on Twitter:
Bulls to make a major announcement later today. Hearing Jo won Defensive Player of the Year.
— Aggrey Sam (@CSNBullsInsider) April 21, 2014
Noah’s reliable defense has towed the Bulls to the fourth seed in the NBA Playoffs despite missing stars Derrick Rose (injury) and Luol Deng (traded) for majority of the season. The All-Star received 100 of the possible 125 first place votes in the balloting for the award.
Three other big men completed the four other top vote-getters for the DPOY award; Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers) was in second place; DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers) in third; and Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder) in fourth. Andre Iguodala and LeBron James also received votes.
Noah dedicated the award to his youth basketball coach, Tyrone Green, who died unexpectedly last week.
“This award goes to somebody who I’ll never forget, somebody who just passed and meant so much to me, who believed in me,” Noah said in a Chicago Tribune article. “Mr. Green, I love you. I appreciate you. And I know you’re smiling down right now really proud. This award goes to you.”
“He just always believed in me. I know I wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for him. It’s hard to talk about because there’s so much going on right now. But that was my guy. And I love him.”
The 9th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft is a two-time All-Star (2013 and 2014) and was part of the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2013 and NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2011.
Noah has averages of 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.5 blocked shots for the Bulls in the 2013-2014 NBA season.