LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James made history on Wednesday when he was named a 16th All-NBA team in his 17-year career, beating Hall of Famers Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul. Jabbar for the most part in NBA history.
James was one of five players ̵
In addition to snapping a draw with the three legends, James also extended a record he already had by being named his 13th All-NBA first team. James, who made 11 straight first teams before the first significant injury of his career shortened last season – his first with the Lakers – and saw him drop to the third team, showed that he is still without a doubt the best player on the planet at 35 year. His dominant season led him to lead the NBA in assists for the first time in his career.
The other 10 players honored on Wednesday were: guards Chris Paul and Damian Lillard, strikers Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard and center Nikola Jokic who made up the second team; and guards Ben Simmons and Russell Westbrook, strikers Jayson Tatum and Jimmy Butler and center Rudy Gobert who was selected to the third team.
With longtime All-NBA opponents like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Kyrie Irving missing most, if not all, this season due to injuries, several openings among the 15 picks were filled by first-time honors, including Doncic, Tatum, Simmons and Siakam.
Gobert also gained future financial flexibility by being named the All-NBA third team. Gobert was already supermax-eligible for a potential contract extension with the Jazz this offseason, but now that he has created the All-NBA again this season, he may also be eligible to sign a supermax deal with Utah if he becomes an unlimited free agent next offseason.
While Gobert may make more money in the future, Siakam and Simmons are both able to make more money now as a result of their respective choices. Because Siakam was selected to the All-NBA second team, the contract extension he agreed to last summer jumped from 25% of the amount the salary limit is set for after this season to 28%.
Simmons, who also agreed to a contract extension before this season, also made his deal rise to 28% of the salary cap by making the All-NBA the third team.
Had Sixers center Joel Embiid, who finished 31 points behind Gobert for third-team All-NBA center spot, made one of the All-NBA teams, he would have been eligible for a supermax overtime after next season. If Embiid creates an All-NBA team next season, he will be able to sign a four-year supermax extension like the one Lillard signed with the Portland Trail Blazers last summer.