San Antonio Spurs forward became the shortest player in the last 11 years to win the Defensive Player of the Year award after beating out the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green and the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan.
Leonard finished with 333 points, enough to win the award over Green despite receiving fewer first-place votes (37) than Green (45). Green finished with 317 points. Jordan tallied 32 first-place votes and 261 total points. The New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis finished fourth with 11 first-place votes and 107 total points.
At least Green provided a good quote when finding out the news:
Draymond: "Al Gore won the popular vote and didn't get elected president so I'm not gonna beat myself up over not winning DPOY"
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) April 23, 2015
Leonard played in just 64 games this year, but the Spurs posted a defensive rating almost five points better with Leonard on the floor than without him.
He also led the league in steals with 2.31 per game.
Leonard joins Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan as the only players to be named Defensive Player of the Year and NBA Finals MVP in their career.