By Bill Carey
April 24, 2013

Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol has been named NBA Defensive Player of the Year, the league announced Wednesday.

Heat star LeBron James finished second in the voting, followed closely by the Thunder's Serge Ibaka and the Bulls' Joakim Noah.

Gasol was considered a throw-in when the Lakers acquired his brother, Pau, from Memphis in 2008, but he has developed into one of the league's top centers.

He made his first All-Star team in 2012 and averaged 14.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game this year. He is a strong positional defender, and his impact doesn't always show up on the stat sheet.

Gasol is the first Grizzlies' player to win the award.

GOLLIVER: Gasol anchored Grizzlies' stellar defense

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