Kobe Bryant named All-Defensive First Team

The NBA announced on Wednesday morning that Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was named to the NBA's All-Defensive First Team for the 8th time in his career and for the fifth straight season.

Bryant, voted to the first team in 2000, '03, '04, '06, '07, '08, '09 by the NBA's head coaches, was also named to the second team twice (2001 and '02) for a total of 10 times in his 14 seasons.

Despite a terrific individual season on D, L.A. forward and defensive specialist Ron Artest didn't receive enough points* to make the second team, earning 13 points, one fewer than Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha (14) for the final spot.
*Two points were given for a first team vote, one for a second team vote.

Lamar Odom received one first team vote, and Pau Gasol one second team vote to round out the total margin for L.A.

Below is the NBA's official release, including vote totals, for the defensive honors:

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, winner of the 2009-10 Defensive Player of the Year Award, and guard Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics headline the NBA All-Defensive First Team, the NBA announced Wednesday. By totaling 57 points overall, including 28 First Team votes, Howard edged Rondo (50 points overall and 23 First Team votes) as the leading vote-getter.

Also selected to the All-Defensive First Team are forward LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers (45 points), Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (34 points) and Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace (30 points).

Howard became the first player to lead the league in rebounding and blocks (1973-74 was the first season blocks were kept as an official statistic) in consecutive seasons, averaging 13.2 rebounds and 2.78 blocks. He also became only the fifth player in NBA history to lead the league in rebounding for at least three consecutive seasons. With Howard anchoring the defense, the Magic allowed 95.3 points a game, which ranked fourth in the NBA, and held the opposition to a league-low .438 shooting, including 24 games in which opponents shot under .400. Orlando held the opposition to fewer than 100 points 57 times and to fewer than 90 points 24 times.

The NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of center Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs, guards Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and Thabo Sefolosha of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and forwards Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks and Anderson Varejao of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Duncan has been selected to the NBA All-Defensive team 13 consecutive seasons.

The voting panel consisted of the NBA's 30 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.

2009-10 NBA All-Defensive Team
Position Player, Team 1st 2nd Points
Center Dwight Howard, Orlando 28 1 57
Guard Rajon Rondo, Boston 23 4 50
Forward LeBron James, Cleveland 20 5 45
Guard Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 13 8 34
Forward Gerald Wallace, Charlotte 11 8 30

Second Team
Position Player, Team 1st 2nd Points
Center Tim Duncan, San Antonio 8 5 21
Guard Dwyane Wade, Miami 8 4 20
Forward Josh Smith, Atlanta 6 8 20
Forward Anderson Varejao, Cleveland 2 11 15
Guard Thabo Sefolosha, Oklahoma City 3 8 14

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