Rudy Gobert has been getting a lot of criticism lately. He's one of the best rim protectors in the league and the Utah Jazz's defensive anchor, yet people believe that he's overpaid after signing that massive contract extension.
Nonetheless, it's not Gobert's fault to make that much money. He's extremely valuable and plenty of teams around the NBA would kill to have such an impactful defender, even if he's not much of a scoring threat.
Once again, Gobert is among the leaders for the Defensive Player of the Year Award. However, Ben Simmons - who's currently leading the race - believes that he shouldn't win the award over him this year.
Ben Simmons Says Rudy Gobert Shouldn't Win DPOY
“He’s a great defender. But I don’t think he’s guarding one through fives. You can’t tell him to go guard Kawhi (Leonard) or Paul (George) or guard a point guard. He’s not doing that on a daily basis," Simmons said, as quoted by The Sports Rush.
Simmons makes a strong point here, as he's usually in charge of guarding the other team's best player regardless of his position, while Gobert isn't that dominant or versatile in the perimeter.
Rudy Gobert Fires Back At Ben Simmons
Even so, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year believes that he's got a strong case to win the award again this season, and didn't hesitate to fire back at Simmons' comments after his team's practice yesterday:
“To me, it’s about impact. It’s about how much impact you can have on the court and how much impact we can have on your teammates. And at the end of the day, how much impact you can have on your team and on the other team," Gobert told The Salt Lake Tribune.
“It’s not about being cute. It’s not about looking good. It’s not about narratives. It’s not about having a big name. It’s about coming out every single night, trying to grind defensively and have that impact on the game," Gobert concluded.
We'll have to wait and see who comes out on top of this race. Both the Sixers and Jazz have the best record in each conference so they clearly both have strong arguments, and it seems like you couldn't go wrong either way.