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.