The Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — For Cleveland’s LeBron James, there was history.
For Houston’s James Harden, there was affirmation.
And for Indiana’s Paul George and Utah’s Gordon Hayward, a chance at signing contracts exceeding $200 million this summer is gone.
James and Harden headlined the All-NBA first team that was unveiled by the league on Thursday. James made the first team for a record-tying 11th time, matching the mark set by Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone. And Harden was the only player to be unanimously selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters as a first-teamer this year, returning to that group for the third time in the last four seasons.
Joining James and Harden on the first team were Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis. Westbrook, Leonard and Davis all are first-teamers for the second time.
George and Hayward fell well short of making any of the three All-NBA teams, which means they will not be eligible to get the “supermax” extensions from Indiana and Utah this summer and now will face more questions about their futures in their respective cities.
George is under contract to the Pacers for next season, while Hayward is likely to elect to become a free agent this summer.
Davis barely held off Utah’s Rudy Gobert for the first-team center spot, finishing with 343 points to Gobert’s 339. Davis appeared on 95 of the 100 ballots; Gobert appeared on 91.
Other second-team picks were Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Boston’s Isaiah Thomas at guard, and Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo at forward.