US basketball

French pride: Wembanyama, Gobert anchor All-Defensive team


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French pride: Wembanyama, Gobert anchor All-Defensive team

TOWERING. San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) against the Phoenix Suns in the second half at Footprint Center.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Towering Spurs sensation Victor Wembanyama becomes the first rookie ever to make the NBA All-Defensive first team

Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert and fellow Frenchman and Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama anchor the NBA All-Defensive first team, the league announced on Tuesday, May 21 (Wednesday, May 22, Manila time).

The Minnesota Timberwolves veteran and San Antonio Spurs newcomer were joined by Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat, Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Herbert Jones of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Gobert, 31, was a unanimous selection, receiving first-team votes from all 99 ballots from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. The four-time Defensive Player of the Year made the first team for the seventh time after averaging 14.0 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks in 76 games (all starts).

Wembanyama, 20, is the first rookie ever to make the All-Defensive first team. Five others made the second team since the team’s inception in 1968-1969: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969-1970), Hakeem Olajuwon (1984-1985), Manute Bol (1985-1986), David Robinson (1989-1990), and Tim Duncan (1997-1998). 

The 7-foot-4 Wembanyama led the NBA with 3.6 blocks per game.

Adebayo made the All-Defensive first team for the first time after making the second team in each of the past four seasons. 

Davis is on the first team for the third time, to go with two second team appearances. 

Jones was honored for the first time.

The 2023-2024 NBA All-Defensive second team consists of Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso, Orlando Magic guard Jalen Suggs, Boston Celtics guards Derrick White and Jrue Holiday, and Minnesota forward Jaden McDaniels. –

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