NBA: Wembanyama makes history with All-Defensive Team selection; Gobert also included

NBA: Wembanyama makes history with All-Defensive Team selection; Gobert also included

San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama further etched his name in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) folklore with his inclusion in the NBA All-Defensive Team announced by the league on Tuesday.

Wembanyama joins compatriot and four-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert (Minnesota Timberwolves), Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Herbert Jones (New Orleans Pelicans), and Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers) to be named to the 2023–24 All-Defensive First Team.

The 20-year-old France International, who was named to the All-Rookie First Team on Monday, becomes the first rookie in NBA history to be selected to the All-Defensive First Team, which the league has revealed yearly since the 1968–69 season.

The No. 1 draft pick is the third Spurs rookie in history to be named to an All-Defensive Team, joining David Robinson (1989–90) and Tim Duncan (1997–98).

He also becomes the sixth rookie to earn a place on the NBA All-Defensive Team along with Robinson, Duncan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969–70), Hakeem Olajuwon (1984–85), and Manute Bol (1985–86), with the difference being that the five aforementioned players made Second Team selections.

Wembanyama finished second in the voting results with 86 first-place votes, only bettered by Gobert, the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, who was selected unanimously after getting all 99 first-place votes and earning first-team selection for the seventh time in his career.

Adebayo, who anchored Miami’s defence all season, got 73 first-place votes, giving him his first ever NBA All-Defensive First Team selection following four consecutive Second Team honours.

Jones, with 66 first-place votes, is named to an NBA All-Defensive Team for the first time, while Lakers’ big man, Davis, is appearing for the fifth time on the All-Defensive list—his third time on the First Team, adding to two previous Second Team selections.

Meanwhile, the 2023–24 NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of Alex Caruso (Chicago Bulls), Jalen Suggs (Orlando Magic), Derrick White and Jrue Holiday (Boston Celtics), and Jaden McDaniels (Minnesota Timberwolves).

Veteran guard Holiday gets his sixth NBA All-Defensive Team selection; White and Cariso both get their second; while Suggs and McDaniels are making their debuts on the list.

The votes were collated after ballots from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters, with five players each chosen for both the first and second teams. Players received two points for each first-team vote and one point for each second-team vote.

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