Bryant, who finished percentage points below fellow First Teamer Kevin Durant for the NBA’s scoring lead with 27.9 points per game, in 2011-12 moved past Shaquille O’Neal for fifth on the league’s all-time scoring list and became the youngest player to 29,000 career points.
In 58 games of the lockout shortened season, Bryant added 5.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.19 steals to his 27.9 points per game in 38.5 minutes, shooting 43 percent from the field, 30.3 percent from three and 84.5 percent from the foul line.
Bryant trails only Karl Malone for all-time selections to the first team (11), and is now tied with legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Bob Cousy, Michael Jordan, Bob Pettit, and Jerry West. Bryant’s 14th overall All-NBA mention has him tied with Malone and Shaq for second all time behind only Abdul-Jabbar and his 15 selections to a team.
Bryant’s first appearance on an All-NBA team was in his third season, 1999, when he earned a third team nod, as he did in 2005. He was on the second team in 2000 and 2001, plus the 10 first team honors from 2002-12, minus 2005.
How does a player get chosen? Selected media members vote for two guards, two forwards and one center for each team, with Bryant having been named one of the NBA’s top two guards in 62.5 percent of his seasons, and a top six guard in 87.5 percent of his campaigns.
The 2011-12 season is the first time in three years that teammate Pau Gasol does not flank Bryant on one of the teams, but emerging center Andrew Bynum earned his first nod, making the All-NBA Second Team.
ALL NBA FIRST TEAM:
G: Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul
F: LeBron James, Kevin Durant
C: Dwight Howard
ALL NBA SECOND TEAM:
G: Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook
F: Kevin Love, Blake Griffin
C: Andrew Bynum
ALL NBA THIRD TEAM:
G: Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo
F: Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony
C: Tyson Chandler