NBA: Has a player won Rookie of the Year and DPOY in the same season? | Victor Wembanyama could be the first one

Victor Wembanyam and Chet Holmgren

We’ve heard of rookies who were selected in All-Star games such as Michael Jordan, Yao Ming, and many more. There have also been a few players who got the chance to be in an All-NBA and/or All-Defensive team as rookies. However, it’s as if there is yet to be a player to win Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Not a single name is recorded in what seemed like an impossible feat. Well, Spurs center Victor Wembanyama might just be the first guy to do so.

Has a rookie won RoY and DPoY in the same season?

Unfortunately, this feat hasn’t been achieved in the NBA yet. No player has ever won Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. There were, however, some names who came close to doing so.

  • Former San Antonio Spur Alvin Robertson won the Defensive Player of the Year award, not as a rookie, but as a sophomore.
  • Another Spurs legend, David Robinson, was a Rookie of the Year winner but only won DPoY in his third season.
  • Mark Eaton did not win RoY but was selected as the DPoY in his third season as well.
  • His Airness, Michael Jordan, the 1985 NBA Rookie of the Year, won the Defensive Player of the Year trophy three years later, in 1988. It was MJ’s best year as he won the All-Star Game MVP, Regular Season MVP, Defensive Player of the Year Award, Scoring Champion, and Steals Leader, and was selected for All-NBA and All-Defensive First Teams. The only thing he was unable to capture was a championship.
  • Tim Duncan never won the DPoY in his fruitful 19-year NBA career. But, as a rookie, The Big Fundamental was selected for the All-NBA team and All-Defensive team and subsequently finished 5th in DPoY voting.

Since the award was only handed out in the 1980 season, one could argue that Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, or even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar might have won RoY and DPoY in the same year. But, again, it hasn’t happened yet. However, the French prodigy Victor Wembanyama might just have the tools to do the impossible.

Victor Wembanyama’s odds of becoming the 2024 Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year

Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama may be the clear frontrunner for the 2024 Rookie of the Year award, but he’s a long way from being the DPoY. With a +4000 odds on various betting sites, Wemby is a definitely long shot. However, due to the fact that he is an excellent shot blocker and skilled perimeter defender, his chances could slowly increase as the season progresses. Another rookie, OKC’s Chet Holmgren, has the same shot as Wembanyama in terms of possibly becoming the first rookie to win RoY and DPoY in the same season.

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