by Ryne Nelson

Dwight Howard, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, headlines the ’08-09 All-Defensive First Team. This season marks Howard’s first First Team selection and certainly not his last.

This is Kevin Garnett’s eighth First Team selection, which ties him with Tim Duncan for the most career First Team awards among active players. Duncan has been on either the First or Second Team every year of his career, giving him the most selections of any player in history. Duncan’s 12 career selections tops Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bobby Jones’ 11. Congrats to the Big Fundamental!

Kobe’s nine career selections ties him with Jason Kidd for third among active players. Bryant’s seven First Team awards put him well within grasp of tying or surpassing (you know he’ll be trying) Michael Jordan and Gary Payton’s record nine First Team selections.

Dwyane Wade was the first player under 6-5 to compile 100 steals and 100 blocks in a season and finished third in the Defensive Player of the Year Voting. Despite those credentials, Wade finished on the Second Team, well behind Chris Paul. Like Howard, this was Paul’s first season on the First Team.

Last but not least, LeBron James finished third in total points. Oddly, it’s his first time making either the First or Second Team.

’08-09 ALL-DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM
Player1st2ndPoints
Dwight Howard27155
Kobe Bryant24553
LeBron James22347
Chris Paul15636
Kevin Garnett13935
’08-09 ALL-DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM
Tim Duncan101030
Dwyane Wade9826
Rajon Rondo41523
Shane Battier61022
Ron Artest51222
Notables, point totals (First Team votes in parentheses): Tayshaun Prince, 15 (3); Raja Bell, 8 (2); Joel Przybilla, 7 (1); Chauncey Billups, 5; Ronnie Brewer, 5 (1); Andre Iguodala, 5; Yao Ming, 5; Emeka Okafor, 5 (1); Kendrick Perkins, 4 (1).

The voting panel consisted of the 30 head coaches, who were asked to select 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.