For the second consecutive season, Russell Westbrook has been named to the All-NBA first team. The news comes as no surprise, as he averaged 31.6 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 10.4 APG and led the Thunder to 47 wins and the Western Conference’s sixth seed. He received 99 out of 100 possible first team votes.
Here is how the voting broke down for all three teams:
James Harden was the only unanimous selection, with Westbrook and LeBron James gathering all but one possible first team vote. It’s difficult to see why either man was considered second team material, but that’s the way it goes. As it stands, this is the second time Westbrook has made the first team, and his sixth time on an All-NBA squad altogether. He was voted to the second team in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.
Perhaps the most noteworthy news here is the absence of Indiana’s Paul George and Utah’s Gordon Hayward. As both men were eligible for super-max extensions had they been named to any of the three teams, a large sum of money was lost with the announcement. One would assume the noise surrounding their possible exits will continue to grow louder — always a lot of fun for the fans.
As for Westbrook, it’s a deserved achievement after a truly historic season. Even though it was a foregone conclusion he would make the first team, you can’t really grow tired of having someone like this on the team you cheer for. With the MVP award not being announced until late June, there is plenty of time to celebrate the accomplishment before moving on.