We nominated and you voted. As the season came to a close, NBA.com asked who you thought was most deserving for each of the six major regular-season awards. With your votes tabulated
, we now turn to the official vote to see if the media agree with your chosen winners.
Heat center Shaquille O'Neal, Suns guard and reigning MVP Steve Nash, and Spurs forward Tim Duncan headline the All-NBA First Team, announced Wednesday, May 18. O'Neal topped the media voting with his 616 points; Nash received the second-highest support, with 606 points.
It's Duncan's eighth consecutive selection to the All-NBA First Team. Duncan is only the fifth player to make the All-NBA First Team in each of his first eight seasons, joining Hall of Famers Larry Bird, George Mikan, Bob Pettit and Oscar Robertson. Completing the First Team are Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki and Philadelphia guard Allen Iverson.
A week earlier, Pistons center Ben Wallace, who was recently named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, led the voting for the 2004-05 NBA All-Defensive Teams, announced May 12. Wallace, making his fourth consecutive appearance on the All-Defensive First Team, is joined by Kevin Garnett of the Timberwolves, two Spurs, Bruce Bowen and Duncan, and Larry Hughes of the Wizards.
After posting an NBA-best 62-20 regular-season record, the Phoenix Suns of course garnered their share of hardware. Nash capped off a memorable return to his original NBA team by being named the league's 2004-05 Most Valuable Player on May 8. The Canadian point man is the sixth guard and just the second international player (Hakeem Olajuwon, 1993-94, Nigeria) to receive the award.
In the fourth-closest voting margin since media began voting on the award in 1980-1981, Nash finished with 1,066 points, including 65 first-place votes. Miami's O'Neal was second with 1,032 points, including 58 first-place votes. Nowitzki, Duncan and Iverson placed third through fifth, respectively.
Meanwhile, the man running the Suns show from the sideline, Mike D'Antoni was awarded the Red Auerbach Trophy as 2004-05 NBA Coach of the Year on May 10. The second-year coach is the second Phoenix coach to garner the honor. The late Cotton Fitzsimmons won the award for the 1988-89 season.
Emeka Okafor may have been drafted second, but the Bobcats rookie was No. 1 among the media. Okafor was named the got milk? Rookie of the Year, receiving a total of 514 points, including 77 first-place votes out of a possible 126. Bulls guard Ben Gordon finished second with 443 points, including 43 first-place votes.
Okafor, Gordon and the Magic's Dwight Howard were unanimous selections to the got milk? NBA All-Rookie First Team. Andre Iguodala and Luol Deng of the Sixers and Bulls, respectively, round out the first team.
Gordon made it an awards three-point play by also becoming the first rookie to win the NBA Sixth Man Award. Gordon received 513 out of a possible 625 points, including 88 of a possible 125 first-place votes. Ricky Davis of the Celtics finished second with 257 points and Earl Boykins of the Nuggets finished third with 155 points.
While the Clippers didn't reach the postseason, they can boast an award winner as Bobby Simmons was named Most Improved Player for the 2004-05 season. The award recognizes a player who has made a dramatic improvement from the previous season or seasons. Simmons received a total of 384 points, including 59 first-pace votes, from a panel of 123 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.