Dirk is 1st team NBA
James, Bryant headline All-NBA Team
May 17, 2006
NEW YORK (Ticker) - LeBron James has his team in contention to make the Eastern Conference finals. On Wednesday, he earned some individual recognition.
The Cleveland forward was the leading vote-getter on the All-NBA team, which included Los Angeles Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant and MVP Steve Nash of Phoenix.
Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki and Miami center Shaquille O'Neal rounded out the first team, announced Wednesday by the league.
James, who leads the Cavaliers into Detroit on Wednesday in Game Five of the Eastern Conference semifinals, is making his first appearance on the All-NBA First Team, leading all players in first place votes (116) and total points (610).
James averaged 31.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.6 assists to lead the Cavaliers to the playoffs for the first time in eight years. He joined Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson and Jerry West and five-time NBA MVP Michael Jordan as the only players in NBA history to post at least 31 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Bryant led the NBA in scoring with 35.4 points per game while posting 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists to earn his fourth All-NBA First Team selection. He totaled 2,832 points this season, marking the seventh highest scoring season in NBA history behind only Michael Jordan (1986-88) and Wilt Chamberlain (1960-64).
The two-time reigning MVP, Nash was selected to the First Team for the second straight year. He averaged career highs in points (18.8), rebounds (4.2), minutes (35.5), field goal percentage (.512) and free throw percentage (.921) while dishing out a league-high 10.5 assists per game.
Making his second consecutive appearance on the All-NBA First Team, Nowitzki led the Mavericks to a 60-22 season, the second-best record in the Western Conference. He posted a career-high 26.6 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game.
O'Neal has been selected to the All-NBA First Team for the seventh consecutive year and for the eighth time in his career. Averaging 20.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.76 blocks, O'Neal led the Heat to a Southeast Division title as well as a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals following a 106-105 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday.
O'Neal shot 60 percent from the field, leading the league in field goal percentage for the ninth time in his career, tying Chamberlain for the most in league history, and becoming only the sixth player in NBA history to shoot 60 percent or better in consecutive seasons.
Named to the All-NBA Second Team were guards Chauncey Billups of Detroit and Dwyane Wade of Miami, San Antonio's Tim Duncan and the L.A. Clippers Elton Brand at the forward spots and Detroit's Ben Wallace at the center position.
The All-NBA Third Team includes Eastern Conference guards Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers and Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards and an all Western Conference front line of Phoenix's Shawn Marion, Denver's Carmelo Anthony and Houston's Yao Ming.
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