LeBron James Ties Record With 11th All-NBA First Team – New York Times


For LeBron James, there was history. For James Harden, there was affirmation. And for Paul George and Gordon Hayward, a chance at signing contracts exceeding $200 million this summer disappeared.

James, a four-time N.B.A. most valuable player, and Harden, a top candidate this season, led the All-N.B.A. first team, announced by the league on Thursday. James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, made the first team for the 11th time, matching a record set by the Hall of Famer Karl Malone and equaled by Kobe Bryant. Harden, of the Houston Rockets, was the only unanimous first-team selection by the global voting panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. It was his third first-team nod in four seasons.

Joining James and Harden on the first team were Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis. Westbrook, Leonard and Davis all are first-teamers for the second time.

Harden was not an All-N.B.A. team pick last season, when he averaged 29 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists, which prompted Daryl Morey, the Rockets’ general manager, to post a reaction on Twitter. “Happy @James Harden was able to bounce back from his tough 29/8/6 performance last season to prove again he is one of the 15 best NBA players,” Morey wrote.

James and Westbrook were on 99 of the 100 first-team ballots, and second-team on the lone other. Leonard was a first-teamer on 96 ballots, second-team on three and third-team on one.

Perhaps as significant a story as who made the team was who did not.

George and Hayward fell well short of making any of the three All-N.B.A. teams, which means they will not be eligible to get so-called “supermax” extensions from Indiana and Utah this summer and now will face more questions about their futures in their respective cities.

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