Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James and James Harden—each among the three finalists for MVP—head this year’s list of All-NBA performers with Giannis and LeBron both unanimous selections. James’ Lakers teammate, Anthony Davis, also earned all-league stripes with Mavericks star Luka Doncic (in only his second season) rounding out the first team. Already the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, the 6’11” Antetokounmpo has now achieved All-NBA status four times compared to 16 nods for LeBron, seven for Harden and four for Davis. This was Doncic’s first All-NBA appearance.
The All-NBA second team, also revealed Wednesday, features reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, Nikola Jokic (whose Nuggets eliminated Kawhi to complete a 3-1 series comeback Tuesday night), Blazers scoring prodigy Damian Lillard, crafty vet Chris Paul and Toronto forward Pascal Siakam. This was Paul’s ninth All-NBA distinction and his first such honor since 2016. The only Raptor to crack the all-league ranks this year, Wednesday marked Siakam’s first inclusion on the All-NBA squad. Meanwhile Jayson Tatum joined Jimmy Butler, Rudy Gobert, Ben Simmons and Russell Westbrook as third-team selections with Tatum and Simmons both making their All-NBA debuts.
Others who received votes included Khris Middleton, Joel Embiid, Bradley Beal, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, Trae Young, Donovan Mitchell, Paul George, Brandon Ingram, Kemba Walker, Devin Booker, Andre Drummond, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine and Brook Lopez. Beal’s omission seemed to be the most contentious with the Wizards sharp-shooter acknowledging the snub himself on social media. Per ESPN, Beal is the first player to average 30 points and at least six assists without collecting an All-NBA stamp. Beal’s 30.5 points per game in 2019-20 represents the third-highest scoring average by a player not deemed worthy of all-league recognition.
However, if anyone was robbed, it was arguably Middleton and Embiid, who both registered higher point totals (five points for each first-team ballot cast, three for second and one for third) than Simmons and Westbrook. The Western Conference dominated this year’s voting, claiming 10 of 15 all-league representatives including four of five first-teamers. The Lakers and Rockets stand as the only teams to garner more than one selection among this year’s All-NBA crop.