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Jaren Jackson Jr. becomes youngest NBA DPOY ever

Jaren Jackson Jr. is elite.



Jaren Jackson
© Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s official, former Michigan State star Jaren Jackson Jr. has been named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year.

It’s official, Jaren Jackson Jr. your 2022-23 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

The former Spartan has dominated the NBA this season on that side of the ball. He averaged 3.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per game during the regular season to go along with 18.6 points and 6.8 rebounds. He’s one of the toughest players to score on in the entire league and he was finally given some respect by making his first All-Star Game and earning some postseason awards recognition.

With the Defensive Player of the Year Award win, Jackson Jr. officially becomes the youngest player to ever win the coveted award. He joins an elite list of former NBA defensive players of the year who were the youngest at their time of winning the award.

Anyone who watched the Memphis Grizzlies this season would have had no arguments with this award voting. Jackson Jr. has blocked a ton of shots and when he’s healthy, he’s the best defensive player on the floor. He has made life difficult on some of the best players in the league and he’s in the middle of a series against one of them (although his Grizzlies lost Game 1 to the Lakers).

Jackson Jr. beat out guys like Evan Mobley and Draymond Green for the award and he’s actually the second former Spartan to win the award in the past few years. Joining Draymond as a defensive stopper, the NBA is taking notice of the defensive players Tom Izzo is churning out.

The great thing about Jaren is that he’s really good on both ends of the floor. While Draymond is an elite passer and can make the occasional dunk or three, Jackson is a floor-spacer who can shoot from range or throw down over a legit NBA center. He’s fun to watch. There’s a reason he’s been regarded as a “unicorn.”

Former Spartans in the NBA are excelling.

Writer, co-owner of Spartan Shadows. Michigan State and college football expert at FanSided and formerly of The Detroit News. Expert on all things Michigan State. Connor Muldowney has written about Michigan State since graduating from the university with a degree in journalism back in 2013. Ten years of experience as a Michigan State writer/reporter.


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