by Conrad Brunner
May 8, 2003
New York, May 8, 2003 –
Detroit Pistons’ center Ben Wallace, the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, led the voting for the 2002-03 NBA All-Defensive Teams, which were announced by the NBA today.
Wallace, who made his second career appearance on the All-Defensive First Team, is joined on the First Team by the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs, who was named All-Defensive First Team
for the fifth consecutive season; Minnesota Timberwolves’ forward Kevin Garnett, who was named All-Defensive First Team for the fourth consecutive season; Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant, who made the First Team for
the second straight season and Sacramento Kings’ guard Doug Christie, who earned his first career All-Defensive First Team selection.
Wallace led the NBA in rebounds (15.4 rpg) and finished second in blocks (3.14 bpg). He grabbed 20 or more rebounds in five consecutive games (March 12 – 20), becoming the first player to accomplish that feat since
former Piston Dennis Rodman (1995). His 15.4 rebounds per game average is the highest regular season average since Rodman’s 16.1 rpg in 1996-97. Duncan, the first player since Michael Jordan in 1991 and 1992 to earn MVP,
All-NBA First Team and All-Defensive First Team in consecutive seasons, ranked third in blocks (2.93 bpg) and rebounds (12.9 rpg). Garnett was second in the league in rebounds (13.4 rpg) and 17th in blocks (1.57 bpg). Bryant finished third in the NBA with a career-high 181 steals and ranked sixth in steals per game (2.21). He was second on his team in defensive rebounds (458) and blocks (67). Christie recorded a team-high 180 steals and finished fourth in the league in steals per game (2.25 spg).
The NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of Indiana Pacers forward Ron Artest, San Antonio Spurs forward Bruce Bowen, New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd, Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal and Philadelphia 76ers guard Eric Snow.
Artest was the runner-up to Wallace in voting for Defensive Player of the Year, selected by a panel of media. The NBA's 29 head coaches vote for the All-Defensive team.
Artest and Snow earned their first selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive team while Kidd collected his fifth All-Defensive Team selection. Bowen and O’Neal each earned their third All-Defensive Team selection .