O'Neal Named Third-Team All-NBA
by Conrad Brunner
Indianapolis, May 1, 2002 - At this rate, Jermaine O'Neal may need to start plans for a second trophy case. The first, just completed in his new suburban home, is filling up quickly.
The Pacers' power forward was named Third Team All-NBA in balloting released Wednesday. He is just the second Indiana player ever so honored, following Reggie Miller, a three-time third-team selection (1995, '96 and '98).
O'Neal averaged 19.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.31 blocked shots in his second full season with the Pacers to earn Most Improved Player honors. He also made his first appearance in the All-Star Game and has been selected to Team USA for the World Basketball Championship to be played here later this summer.
Los Angeles Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant and the Orlando's Tracy McGrady each were honored with their
first career selections to the All-NBA First Team.
Bryant, who was named to the All-NBA Second Team twice (2000, 2001) and the Third Team once in his career (1999), averaged 25.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game in 80 contests this season. McGrady, who
averaged 25.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 76 games, was selected to the All-NBA second team last season.
The New Jersey Nets were represented on the All-NBA First Team for the first time in franchise history as guard Jason Kidd earned All-NBA First Team honors. Kidd joined the All-NBA First Team for the fourth consecutive season.
Rounding out the All-NBA First Team were Los Angeles Lakers' center Shaquille O'Neal and San Antonio Spurs' forward Tim Duncan, who tied as the top vote-getters with 626 points each. O'Neal made his fourth appearance on the All-NBA First Team and led all players with 125 First Team votes. Duncan was named to the All-NBA First Team for the fifth consecutive season and secured 124 First Team votes.
The 126-member voting panel of writers and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada consisted of 39 national media members and three media members from each of the league's 29 teams who regularly cover the NBA. The media voted for All-NBA First, Second and Third Teams by position with points awarded on a 5-3-1 basis.
The All-NBA Second Team consists of the Minnesota Timberwolves' forward Kevin Garnett, Dallas Mavericks' forward/center Dirk Nowitzki, Sacramento Kings' forward Chris Webber, Seattle SuperSonics' guard GaryPayton and Philadelphia 76ers' guard Allen Iverson.
The All-NBA Third Team includes the Boston Celtics' guard/forward Paul Pierce, Detroit Pistons' forward/center Ben Wallace, Philadelphia 76ers' center Dikembe Mutombo, Dallas Mavericks' guard Steve Nash and Indiana Pacers' forward/center Jermaine O'Neal.