There’s another guy from Saginaw, Mich. that won last year’s Defensive Player of the Year. His name is Draymond Green. (Laughs) Now is that a goal of yours this year to try and get that award. Rudy Gobert: Of course. Every year, I think I’m the best defensive player in the league and I want to be the best. I think being the defensive player in the league is making your team better because, like I said, there’s a lot of things you don’t see on stats. When you make your team better, usually it means a lot.
Of all the accolades accumulated over his illustrious career, Kevin Durant does not own a single defensive honor. But he told ESPN he would “like to be an All-NBA defender.” For now, though, it’s his fear of failure that’s driving him. “I just want to be counted on by my coaches and my teammates in those situations,” he said. “I don’t want my coach to have to pull me out the game in situations in the fourth quarter because I can’t play defense and then they need to go to a defense-offense [substitution pattern]. I don’t want to be that player. I never wanted to be that player. So that’s what I feared more than anything.”
Kristaps Porzingis on hearing MVP chants at MSG: “I’m not thinking about that too much. I said my goals for the season were most improved player of the year. I felt like I had an opportunity also not exactly this year – I want to get it this year (but) in my career I think I have the opportunity to win defensive player of the year and also the all-star game is a goal for me individually. But all those things are going to come if we win games… so I’m happy as long as we’re playing this way.”
Today, the NBA announced that James Harden has been named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from Monday, Oct. 30 through Sunday, Nov 5 (Week 3). It is the second time this season and the 15th time in his career that Harden has received Player of the Week honors, all coming with Houston.