May 07, 2010
You'd think making an All-NBA team would be more important to a player's legacy than being chosen as an All-Star. But, as Bethlehem Shoals of Fanhouse brilliantly elucidated, that's not the case. One of the first things you hear about players at the end of their careers is how many All-Star games they played in.
If you see the All-NBA First, Second and Third Teams as the combined 15 best players in a season, that's certainly more impressive than the 24 who make the All-Star game where the first 10 are chosen by fans. Sure, the positional necessities push some guys out of the top 15 who should be there, but for the most part, it's a good snapshot of the season that was. Nonetheless, being an NBA All-Star holds more sway, even if All-NBA is more elite. C'est la vie.
Anyways, these are the guys who will get to tell their grandkids they made an All-NBA team in 2010.
In 50 years when we look back on this season from our personal spacepods, I think this will be an accurate representation of the 15 best players from this season. Outside of the exclusion of Chris Bosh(notes) — first in the "other players receiving votes" category — the teams are pretty spot-on. Yeah, some of the positions are weird (Stoudemire as a center, Duncan as a forward), but there's no doubt these guys were streets ahead this year.
Howard and James were both unanimous selections, which makes sense when you consider that they were each clearly the best player at their position. Furthermore, this is Bryant's eighth first-team selection, which puts him one behind Shaquille O'Neal(notes) and Tim Duncan for most by an active player. And last but not least, Kevin Durant made his All-NBA debut after leading the league in scoring. Well deserved, if you ask me.