Nash, Stoudemire headline All-NBA team
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash and his teammate, center Amare Stoudemire, highlighted the annual All-NBA First Team that was announced on Thursday.
Nash and Stoudemire are the first teammates to make the first team since the Lakers' Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal turned the feat in 2003-04.
Joining Nash and Stoudemire on the first team were Spurs forward Tim Duncan, Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and forward Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks.
A unanimous selection, Nash made the first team for the third straight season after leading the NBA in assists during the regular season with a career-high 11.6 per game. Nash became the first NBA player to average at least 18 points (18.6) and 11 assists since the Lakers' Magic Johnson in 1990-91.
Stoudemire averaged 20.4 points and a career-high 9.6 rebounds for the Suns. He ranked second among NBA centers in scoring behind only Houston's Yao Ming and was one of only three NBA players ranked in the top 20 in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage.
Duncan earned his ninth first team selection, the most of any active player, after averaging 20 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists.
Bryant was the NBA scoring champion for the second straight season, tallying 31.6 points per contest, while posting 5.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game to earn his fifth All-NBA First Team selection. Bryant also became just the second player in NBA history to score 50 or more points in four straight games this season.
Nowitzki, who made his third straight first team appearance, led the Mavericks to an NBA-best 67-15 regular-season record. He averaged 24.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and a career-high 3.4 assists per game.
Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James was named to the All-NBA Second Team as a forward. Joining James on the second team were Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas, Houston Rockets guard Tracy McGrady, Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh, who is making his first career All-NBA team, and Houston's Yao at center.
The All-NBA Third Team includes the Miami's Dwyane Wade and Detroit's Chauncey Billups at guard. Minnesota's Kevin Garnett, the NBA's leading rebounder, Denver's Carmelo Anthony and Orlando center Dwight Howard rounded out the third team.