Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic battles for a rebound with Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert in Salt Lake City.

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) grabs a rebound over Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) as the Utah Jazz and the Portland Trail Blazers play an NBA basketball game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Portland won 105-98. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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It takes a lot of work to be a good NBA defender. It takes even more work to be the best.

Rudy Gobert won his third Defensive Player of the Year award in four years on Tuesday and when asked about the amount of work it takes to become one of the greatest defenders the league has ever seen, he didn’t shy away from saying how much has gone into getting to this point.

“It takes relentless dedication every day,” Gobert said. “In this league, we have so many games, being able to stay healthy and being able to stay strong, being able to try to bring it every single night for my team, it’s a challenge. It’s a lot of hard work and dedication and things that people don’t see. People that watch might think it’s easy, but if it was easy everyone would do it, and it’s not.”

Gobert credited the Jazz’s coaching staff and his teammates for pushing him and holding him accountable. It’s their support and their encouragement that keeps him motivated to continue to work every day, he said.

That’s a very reciprocal relationship though, because his teammates are encouraged and want to do better, especially on the defensive end, because of how much work Gobert puts in and the success that he’s had.

“He makes us all better defenders,” …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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