James a unanimous pick for All-NBA First Team
NEW YORK — LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the 2008-09 Most Valuable Player presented by Kia Motors, was a unanimous selection to the 2008-09 All-NBA First Team, the NBA announced today. Joining James on the First Team are Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat.
James, who earns First Team honors for the second straight season, ranked second in the NBA in scoring (28.4 ppg), eighth in steals (1.69 spg) and 10th in assists (7.2 apg) to go along with averages of 7.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. James guided the Cavaliers to a franchise-best 66-16 record overall and a 39-2 mark at home, both tops in the league. James was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month four times (November, January, March, April), tying Kevin Garnett (2003-04) as the only players to receive the award four times in one season since the NBA began voting for Eastern and Western Conference Player of the Month separately.
2008-09 ALL-NBA TEAMS
• Official release | Past All-NBA teams
• SCHUHMANN: All-NBA team’s golden quality
• PHOTOS: First Team | Second Team | Third Team
ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM HIGHLIGHTS
Kobe Bryant | Dwyane Wade | LeBron James |
Dirk Nowitzki | Dwight Howard
FIRST TEAM SEASON MOMENTS
* Kobe Bryant: Kobe’s 61 at Madison Square
* Dwyane Wade: One-footed 3-pointer sinks Bulls
* LeBron James: LeBron’s near triple-double in NYC
* Dirk Nowitzki: Nowitzki drops 46 points on Thunder
* Dwight Howard: Howard misses 30-20 triple-double
Bryant, the 2007-08 Most Valuable Player presented by Kia Motors, finished third in the league in scoring (26.8 ppg), while averaging 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists. Bryant led the Lakers to a Western Conference-best 65-17 record. Bryant earns his fourth straight First Team selection and seventh overall. Among active players, only Tim Duncan (nine) and Shaquille O’Neal (eight) have more First Team selections.
Howard, an All-NBA First Team selection for the second consecutive season, led the NBA in rebounding (13.8 rpg) and blocks (2.9 bpg), becoming only the fourth player to pace the league in both categories since 1973-74, the first season where blocks were kept as an official statistic. Howard led the Magic in scoring (20.6 ppg), while shooting .572 from the field. His 63 double-doubles ranked second in the league (David Lee, New York, 65).
Earning his fourth First Team selection, Nowitzki was the league’s fourth-leading scorer (25.9 ppg), while also averaging 8.4 rebounds. His .890 free throw percentage ranked seventh overall. Nowitzki finished the season by scoring at least 20 points in 25 straight games, the longest such streak in the NBA this season.
Wade earns his first All-NBA First Team selection after ranking first in scoring (30.2 ppg), second in steals (1.7 spg) and eighth in assists (6.7 apg). He also averaged 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Wade became only the fifth player in league history to reach 2,000 points, 500 assists, and 150 steals in a single season, as well as the only player under 6-foot, 4-inches to register 100 blocks since they became an official stat in the 1973-74 season.
The All-NBA Second Team consists of New Orleans’ Chris Paul and Portland’s Brandon Roy at guard, San Antonio’s Tim Duncan and Boston’s Paul Pierce at forward, and Houston’s Yao Ming at center.
The All-NBA Third Team includes Denver’s Chauncey Billups and San Antonio’s Tony Parker at guard, Denver’s Carmelo Anthony and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Paul Gasol at forward, and Phoenix’s Shaquille O’Neal at center.
The All-NBA Teams were chosen by a panel of 122 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The media voted for All-NBA First, Second and Third Teams by position with points awarded on a 5-3-1 basis.
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers is the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2008-09 NBA Most Valuable Player presented by Kia Motors. James totaled 1,172 points including 109 first place votes, from a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five for third, three for fourth and one for each fifth-place vote received.
Rounding out the top five in voting for this season’s award are the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (698 points), Miami’s Dwyane Wade (680), Orlando’s Dwight Howard (328) and New Orleans’ Chris Paul (192).
As part of its support of the Most Valuable Player Award, Kia Motors America will donate either a new Borrego SUV or Sedona minivan on behalf of James to The Urban League of Akron. Kia Motors is presenting a brand new vehicle to the charity of choice of each of four 2008-09 season-end award winners as part of the “The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors.”
James, the first Cavalier to win the award, led Cleveland in scoring (28.4 ppg, second in the NBA), rebounds (7.6 rpg), assists (7.2 apg, fourth), and steals (1.7 spg, eighth). Since the 1973-74 season when steals became an official stat, James is the fourth player to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals, while also leading his team to 50-plus wins (Larry Bird 1985-86; Grant Hill, 1996-97; Kevin Garnett, 2002-03). The 6-8 forward helped Cleveland to an NBA- and franchise-best 66-16 season, a 21-game improvement over last season (45-37), marking the 12th time an NBA team has reached 66 wins in a season.
James led the league in triple-doubles (seven) and became the 12th player in NBA history to record three-consecutive triple-doubles (March 7, 10, 12). In his sixth season, James became the ninth player in NBA history to have at least five consecutive 2,000 point seasons.
Since the NBA began voting on the Eastern and Western Conference Player of the Month separately in 2001-02, James is just the second player to receive the award four times in one season (Kevin Garnett, 2003-04). James was voted the Eastern Conference Player of the Month in November, January, March and April. James was also named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week seven times (Nov. 10, 17; Dec. 29; Jan. 26; Feb. 9; March 16, 23).
The NBA MVP trophy is named in honor of the late Maurice Podoloff, the first commissioner of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.
The 2008-09 NBA Most Valuable Player Award presented by Kia Motors is part of a series of on-court performance awards called “The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors.” The awards, which are part of a multi-year marketing partnership that makes Kia Motors America the official automotive partner of the NBA, also include the Most Improved Player, Defensive Player of the Year, and Sixth Man Awards. The series also includes the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month presented by Kia Motors. For more information on the “The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors”
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