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Kendrick Perkins Says He Regrets Voting For Rudy Gobert as DPOY This Season

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - APRIL 23: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on against the Phoenix Suns in the second quarter of game two of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at Target Center on April 23, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated the Sun 105-93. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Kendrick Perkins was one of the media personnel who voted for Rudy Gobert as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year this season. The former Boston Celtics big man backtracks, saying doing so is the biggest regret of his media career.

On ESPN’s First Take with Shannon Sharpe and Udonis Haslem, Perkins explained why that’s the case. (H/T: Awful Announcing)

I have the biggest regret in my media career, and Molly I’m retiring, UD, Shannon, from voting for individual awards, regular season awards, because I have done a disservice in using my vote right. Me voting this season for Rudy Gobert, OK, is an embarrassment for me, for Defensive Player of the Year. 

He’s the first player that we see, every single time, in the postseason, that becomes a defensive liability. Don’t come give me this analytics, don’t come give me this +/- stats because that’s the most overrated stat in the NBA. When I look at Rudy, he has tarnished he Defensive Player of the Year award. He has. He’s not respected by his peers. We saw what happened to him in the Denver series, he couldn’t even guard the person at his position.”

What is he doing right now, in this series? Do we realize that Rudy has three blocks in three games? He’s averaging 1 block per game at 7’3″. Unacceptable. To say that he’s a four-time Defensive Player of the Year.”

Kendrick Perkins on voting for Rudy Gobert as DPOY

While Perkins is entitled to his opinion, the DPOY is a regular-season award. The Minnesota Timberwolves secured the No. 2 seed partly because of Gobert’s contributions.

Is Rudy Gobert A Defensive Liability?

However, many NBA analysts echoed Perkins’ concerns. Paul Pierce, Gilbert Arenas, Draymond Green, and Charles Barkley suggested bringing Gobert off the bench for a change in favor of Naz Reid. 

In multiple plays, the Dallas Mavericks targetted Gobert in the perimeter. Luka Doncic hit the game-winner over him in Game 2 after a switch and the Wolves center couldn’t do anything. On one play, Doncic told rookie Jaden Hardy to dance with Gobert on the perimeter, resulting in a foul.

Nevertheless, there isn’t anything new here. Teams have always put a bulls-eye on Gobert’s back since his Utah Jazz days, and that will probably never change. Big Perk made his vote and should live with it.