Bryant Named to All-NBA Defensive 2nd Team

For the 12th time in his 16 seasons, Kobe Bryant was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive team, earning his third Second Team nod after six straight First Team appearances from 2006-2011.

Here are the two teams, as voted upon by the NBA’s 30 head coaches:

NBA All-Defensive First Team: Chris Paul, Tony Allen, LeBron James, Serge Ibaka, Dwight Howard

NBA All-Defensive Second Team: Rajon Rondo, Kobe Bryant, Luol Deng, Kevin Garnett, Tyson Chandler

Bryant was named to the First Team in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and the Second in 2001, 2002 and this season.

He received 17 total points, with seven first team votes and three second team votes, getting the fourth guard spot. Andre Iguodala actually received more overall points with 19 (four first team votes), but was the fifth forward on the list.

Bryant was helped by the rim protection of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, and by Metta World Peace taking on the challenge of defending the opponent’s best perimeter player on most nights, though in the postseason Bryant did step up to take on many difficult assignments particularly late in games. He’d likely admit that his defense throughout a full game isn’t what it once was, when his legs were younger, but he clearly retains the full respect of the NBA’s head coaches.