To read the full NBA release detailing Kobe Bryant’s inclusion on the All-NBA First Team and Pau Gasol’s place on the Third team, you can CLICK HERE.
Last season’s MVP finished third in the league in scoring (26.8 ppg), while averaging 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists. It was the fourth straight First team selection and seventh overall for Kobe Bryant, who led the Lakers to a Western Conference-best 65-17 record. Bryant now trails only Tim Duncan (nine) and Shaquille O’Neal (eight) among active players for first team selections.
As for Gasol, it was his first appearance on an All-NBA team, and he just missed a Second Team inclusion on the strength of his consistently solid season that produced 18.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists on 56.7 percent shooting. In fact, since votes were tallied from 122 sportswriters and broadcasters who awarded points on a 5-3-1 basis, Gasol’s 165 points made him the 11th-highest vote getter. There’s an argument to be made that Gasol had a better year than the Second Team’s Tim Duncan or Paul Pierce, but like Bryant, Gasol has said he’s much more concerned about winning a championship than any individual accolade.
What that means right now is a dogged focus on Game 6 in Houston.