BOSTON — LeBron James tied an NBA record by being named to the All-NBA first team for the 11th time on Thursday, earning 99 out of a possible 100 votes.
Houston guard James Harden was the only player named unanimously to the first team, in a vote conducted entirely by media members who cover the NBA. The other three first teamers were San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard, Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook, and New Orleans center Anthony Davis.
James joined Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone as the only players to make the first team 11 times.
After his 38 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists in Game 1 of the Eastern finals Wednesday night, Boston coach Brad Stevens said “it’s hard to believe, but (James is) better than when I got into the league.” Stevens first coached the Celtics in 2013.
James was the only Cav to land on any of the All-NBA teams this year. Guard Kyrie Irving really wasn’t close to landing on the third team, tallying just 14 points (third-team guards John Wall and DeMar DeRozan received 125 and 62 points, respectively).
James has been on All-NBA teams in 13 of his 14 seasons (two second-team honors). This season, he posted career highs in rebounds (8.6), assists (8.7) and triple doubles (13). He was eighth in the NBA in scoring at 26.4 points per game, marking the 13th consecutive year in which he averaged at least 25 points. That’s a league record.
James has landed on the first team for 10 consecutive seasons.
The remaining NBA awards will be announced during the league’s first ever televised awards show on TNT, on June 26.