Cleveland’s LeBron James, Houston’s James Harden unanimously voted All-NBA first team


Cleveland’s LeBron James and Houston’s James Harden were unanimously voted All-NBA first team, it was announced Thursday, with James earning the nod for a record 12th time in his 15-year career.

James — who played in all 82 games for the first time and averaged 27.5 points to go with career highs of 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds — passed Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone for most All-NBA first-team selections.

Harden is an MVP finalist after joining Michael Jordan as the only players to average at least 30.0 points, 8.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.70 steals per game in a season. Harden and James join Golden State’s Kevin Durant, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis and Portland’s Damian Lillard on the All-NBA first team as voted on by the media.

Durant averaged 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and a career-high 1.75 blocks this season for the Warriors.

Davis raised his game to an MVP level after teammate DeMarcus Cousins went down with an Achilles injury; Davis became the first player to post at least 2,000 points, 800 rebounds, 150 blocks and 100 steals in a season since David Robinson in 1995-96. The Pelicans big man now is eligible to receive a supermax five-year, $230 million extension, starting in the summer of 2019, by earning All-NBA status, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Such an extension would be the largest contract in NBA history.

Lillard was the first Portland player to finish fourth in scoring since Clyde Drexler did so in 1991-92. Lillard averaged 26.9 points, 6.6 assists and 4.5 rebounds this season and will need to earn a spot on one of the three All-NBA teams in 2018-19 to be supermax eligible in the summer of 2019.

The second team features last season’s MVP, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, along with Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid. Had Embiid earned All-NBA first-team status, the Sixers center would have been in line for a rookie extension worth $175.7 million due to a clause in his contract. Instead, an extension will now be $146.5 million, according to Marks.

Golden State’s Steph Curry, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, Oklahoma City’s Paul George and Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns were named to the third team. By reaching third-team All-NBA, Towns is eligible for a $188 million rookie extension this summer.

Source : ESPN