Bryant, Nowitzki, Duncan also part of All-NBA team

Updated: May 14, 2007, 1:23 AM ET
Associated Press

Amare Stoudemire
Stoudemire
Steve Nash
Nash

NEW YORK -- Steve Nash was a unanimous selection to the All-NBA team Thursday and was joined by Phoenix Suns teammate Amare Stoudemire on a squad made up entirely of Western Conference players.

Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki, San Antonio forward Tim Duncan and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, the league's leading scorer, rounded out the first team.

"It's a tough conference," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Nash, the league's two-time defending MVP, received 129 first-place votes and 645 total points from the panel of 129 media members.

"You're playing with best players in the world, and to be mentioned in the top group is something I'm very proud of," the point guard said.

Nash and Stoudemire are the first teammates to make the first team since Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal in 2003-04.

Stoudemire's selection caps an impressive comeback after two knee operations limited him to three games in 2005-06. The center averaged 20.4 points and a career-best 9.6 rebounds for the Pacific Division champions.

"I appreciate everyone who voted for me," Stoudemire said, "because behind closed doors, it's been a lot of hard work."

Nash called Stoudemire's selection "a tremendous tribute."

Tim Duncan
Duncan
Dirk Nowitzki
Nowitzki
Kobe Bryant
Bryant

"To not play a whole season and come back and be first-team all-league is just unbelievable," Nash said.

Nash led the NBA in assists during the regular season with a career-high 11.6 per game. He became the first NBA player to average at least 18 points (18.6) and 11 assists since Magic Johnson in 1990-91.

Former teammate Nowitzki, also making his third straight first-team appearance, led the Mavericks to an NBA-best 67-15 record. But he struggled in the playoffs, and the Mavericks became the third No. 1 seed to lose in the first round since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams and the first since the opening round became a best-of-seven in 2003.

It was Duncan's ninth first-team selection, most of any active player.

"He's able to focus year-in and year-out," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He loves the game, he plays it well and it's a real tribute to him to continue to be on that first team."

Cleveland's LeBron James, the top vote-getter for last year's All-NBA team, dropped to the second team this season. He was joined by Washington's Gilbert Arenas, Houston's Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, and Toronto's Chris Bosh.

The third team was: Miami's Dwyane Wade, Detroit's Chauncey Billups, Minnesota's Kevin Garnett, Denver's Carmelo Anthony and Orlando's Dwight Howard.

Cleveland center Zydrunas Ilgauskas did a double-take when told James wasn't selected to the first team.

"For us, he's our MVP and that's all that matters," he said. "There are not a lot of guys better than him, if any, period. There's nobody I would rather have."

The voting panel of writers and broadcasters in the United States and Canada voted for the three teams by position, with points awarded on a 5-3-1 basis.

Also worth noting:

• Since the two-conference format was instituted in 1970-71, all five members on the All-NBA first team have been from the same conference only twice -- 2000 and 2007.

• All five players on the first team are from the same conference for the first time since 2000. That season, it was Gary Payton (Seattle), Jason Kidd (Phoenix), Kevin Garnett (Minnesota), Duncan and O'Neal (Lakers).

• O'Neal is not on an All-NBA team for the first time since 1993, his rookie year.

• Duncan's nine first-team selections are the most of any active player. Only seven players have been on the All-NBA first team more than Duncan (10 times or more): Karl Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Cousy, Jerry West, Michael Jordan, Bob Pettit and Elgin Baylor.

• Rebounding leader Garnett has not been on the first team since 2004.

Information from ESPN's research department was used in this report.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press