Wembanyama first rookie named to NBA All-Defensive first team

San Antonio Spurs rookie center Victor Wembanyama has become the first player in NBA history to make the league’s All-Defensive first team in his first year.

Wembanyama, who was voted on 98 of the 99 ballots cast, is now the sixth rookie in NBA history to make the All-Defensive Team — with the other five all earning second-team nods in their first seasons. Those five were San Antonio’s Tim Duncan in 1998, the Spurs’ David Robinson in 1990, Washington’s Manute Bol (1986), Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon (1985) and Milwaukee’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1970).

The All-Defensive first team was headlined by Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Gobert the only unanimous selection was joined on the first team by Wembanyama, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, Herb Jones of the New Orleans Pelicans and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The second-team All-Defensive picks were Chicago’s Alex Caruso, Orlando’s Jalen Suggs, Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels and Boston Celtics teammates Derrick White and Jrue Holiday.

It was Gobert’s seventh All-Defensive pick, all of them as a member of the first team. Davis is now a five-time All-Defensive player, and a three-time first-team selection. Adebayo made All-Defensive for the fifth time, and his first as a member of the first team. Jones made the team for the first time.

The All-NBA team will be revealed on Wednesday. If Wembanyama makes that team, he would be the first rookie to earn that distinction since Tim Duncan did so 26 years ago.


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