Artest Leads All-Defensive Team Voting

by Jeff Tzucker

NBA News Release

New York, April 26, 2004


Indiana Pacers’ forward Ron Artest, recently

named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, led the voting for the 2003-04

NBA All-Defensive Teams, which were announced by the NBA today.

Artest

Artest, who made his first career appearance on the All-Defensive

First Team and second consecutive on the NBA’s All-Defensive Team, is

joined on the First Team by the two-time Defensive Player of the Year Ben

Wallace of the Detroit Pistons, who was named All-Defensive First Team for

the third consecutive season; San Antonio Spurs’ guard Bruce Bowen, a

four-time All-Defensive Team member; Minnesota Timberwolves’ forward Kevin

Garnett, who was named All-Defensive First Team for the fifth consecutive

season and Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant, who made the First Team

for the third time.

Artest finished the 2003-04 regular season ranked third in the league

in steals (2.08 spg) and successfully held his defensive assignments,

including some of the league’s top players, to 8.1 points per game on 9.3

shots per game and .426 shooting. Wallace finished the season ranked second

in the league in rebounds (12.4 rpg) and blocks (3.04 bpg) and seventh in

steals (1.77 spg), while becoming the first player in NBA history to have

four 1,000-rebound, 100-block, 100-steal seasons (2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03

and 2003-04).

Bowen averaged 1.02 spg, second best on the Spurs and a career-high

3.10 rpg. Garnett led the league in rebounds, averaging a career-high 13.9

rpg and was 11th in blocks (2.17 bpg). Bryant led the Lakers in steals

(1.72 spg), the second-best per game average of his career.

The NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of Utah Jazz forward

Andrei Kirilenko, San Antoino Spurs’ forward Tim Duncan, Portland Trail

Blazers’ center Theo Ratliff, Sacramento Kings’ guard Doug Christie and New

Jersey Nets’ guard Jason Kidd.

Kirilenko earned his first selection to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team,

while Ratliff earned his second All-Defensive Team selection. Christie

earned his fourth All-Defensive Team honor, while Duncan and Kidd each

earned their sixth All-Defensive Team selections.

The voting panel consisted of the NBA’s 29 head coaches, who were

asked to select NBA All-Defensive First and Second Teams by position.

Coaches were not permitted to vote for players from their own team. Two

points were awarded for a First Team vote, and one point was awarded for a

Second Team vote.

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