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Marcus Smart Becomes Only The 6th Guard To Ever Win Defensive Player Of The Year

Marcus Smart Becomes Only The 6th Guard To Ever Win Defensive Player Of The Year

Marcus Smart was recently named the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player Of The Year. The Celtics guard had an incredible season, where he was arguably the best perimeter defender in the entire league and was the defensive leader of one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. Smart made history by winning the Defensive Player Of The Year award, as he joined an elite list of players from the NBA's glory years.

Marcus Smart is the first guard to win the Defensive Player Of The Year since Gary Payton did so in 1996. As pointed out by Reddit user r/lukelear. But Smart has become only the 6th guard to win Defensive Player Of The Year. He joins Sidney Moncrief (who won the award twice), Alvin Robertson, Michael Cooper, Michael Jordan, and Gary Payton as the only guards to ever win the Defensive Player Of The Year award.

The full list of guards to receive Defensive Player Of The Year:

Sidney Moncrief (x2, 82-83 & 83-84)

Alvin Robertson (85-86)

Michael Cooper (86-87)

Michael Jordan (87-88)

Gary Payton (95-96)

Marcus Smart (21-22)

Moncrief won the award twice while he was playing for the Milwaukee Bucks, winning it in consecutive years in 1983 and 1984. Alvin Robertson won the award two years after Moncrief's second, becoming Defensive Player Of The Year in 1986. The next season, the guard domination of the DPOY in the 80s continued, as the Lakers' Michael Cooper won the award.

The season after that, Michael Jordan rounded out the 80s' guard domination of the DPOY, as he was named the Defensive Player Of The Year in 1988. After Jordan's win, the NBA would have to wait 8 years to see another guard win, as Payton won in 1996. But that wait seems insignificant compared to the 26 years it took for a guard in the NBA to win the Defensive Player Of The Year award.