Grizzles' Mar Gasol Win NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award

Marc Gasol, Grizzlies Center, won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, the first of his career.

On Wednesday, the NBA announced that Gasol, 28, received 212 points and 30 first-place votes making him the first Grizzlies player to earn defensive player honors.

"I'm the first European ever to accomplish this," Gasol said on Wednesday at a news conference. "It's really an honor. Now I think my kids will believe me when I tell them I played in the NBA."

The Grizzlies ranked well coming in second in the NBA in terms of defensive efficiency.

"I look at it as the whole team got acknowledged," Gasol said. "I think it's a team effort. It's a team game. There's no way around it. That's how we play basketball. We play as a unit. Defensively, you need five guys to play defense. If one of us is not playing defense, we can't do it."

Tony Allen, also an offensive star, expressed how proud he was of his teammate saying, "That's my man. That's my man, Marc Gasol! I'd rather him get it than anyone else. If somebody else had gotten Defensive Player of the Year, I would have been highly upset. It just goes to show you how much the Memphis Grizzlies have grown on the defensive end."

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