As we approach the end of the regular season, the NBA has begun announcing the winners of the regular season awards. First, the NBA announced that Marcus Smart had won the Defensive Player Of The Year title. Smart, who has been regarded one of the best defenders in the league for quite a few years now, has gotten the evident reward of his talent. But Smart’s win was historic.
Marcus Smart winning the Defensive Player Of The Year award was historic in the NBA. As pointed out by Reddit user u/lukelear, Smart is the first guard to win the prize since Gary Payton won it in 1996. That season, Payton was one of the best players in the league and helped lead his Seattle Supersonics team to the NBA Finals, where they were ultimately defeated by Michael Jordan and the 72-10 Chicago Bulls.