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Thursday, June 13, 2024
Thursday June 13, 2024
Thursday June 13, 2024

Jokic leads the All-NBA first team; Doncic and SGA set for supermax deals

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Nikola Jokic headlines All-NBA first team as Luka Doncic and Shai Gorgeous-Alexander secure supermax eligibility

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets centre, has once again made headlines by leading the All-NBA first team after winning his third Most Valuable Player award in four years. Jokic earned his sixth consecutive All-NBA selection and fourth first-team honour on Wednesday, marking the first year the award went positionless, due to the annual competition between Jokic and Joel Embiid for the centre spot.

This year’s All-NBA teams faced changes due to the newly introduced 65-game rule for top awards. Several notable players, including Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell, New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, and Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler, were ineligible this season despite making All-NBA last year.

Joining Jokic on the first team are Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. This selection marks the sixth straight for Antetokounmpo, the fifth consecutive for Doncic, the third straight for Tatum, and the second in a row for Gilgeous-Alexander. Jokic and Gilgeous-Alexander were unanimous first-team picks.

Doncic’s fifth first-team selection before turning 26 places him alongside Tim Duncan and Kevin Durant in NBA history. Both Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander’s All-NBA nods position them for record-setting supermax extensions. Doncic can sign a five-year deal worth about $346 million, starting at nearly $60 million in 2026-27 and ending at about $79 million in 2030-31. Gilgeous-Alexander is eligible for a four-year extension worth about $294 million, starting in 2027-28 at around $65 million, with the final year earning just over $81 million.

The All-NBA first-team voting results reflected Jokic and Gilgeous-Alexander’s unanimous selections. Jokic and Gilgeous-Alexander each received 99 first-place votes, Doncic received 98, Antetokounmpo got 88, and Tatum received 65.

Other players benefiting financially from their All-NBA selections include Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards and Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton. Edwards made the second team, while Haliburton was named to the third team. Both players’ extensions, signed last summer, will now increase from about $205 million to approximately $245 million over the next five seasons.

New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson also earned his first All-NBA selection, making the second team. Brunson led the Knicks to the second round of the playoffs, becoming the first Knicks guard to earn an All-NBA spot since Walt “Clyde” Frazier in 1975. Alongside Brunson and Edwards on the second team are Phoenix’s Kevin Durant, LA Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, and Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis.

The third team features Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings centre Domantas Sabonis, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James. James, 39, made history as the oldest player to make an All-NBA team. He was the youngest player when he first made the team in 2005.

James has been selected for All-NBA teams in 20 of his 21 seasons, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, and Tim Duncan, who each have 15 selections. James received one first-team vote this season, continuing his streak of first-team votes in 19 of his 21 seasons.

The All-NBA teams’ selections highlight the league’s elite talent and set the stage for significant contract negotiations. Jokic, Doncic, and Gilgeous-Alexander’s achievements emphasize their critical roles in their respective teams’ successes and their impacts on the NBA landscape.

Analysis :

The All-NBA team selections underscore significant shifts in the NBA, particularly with the introduction of the positionless format and the 65-game rule. These changes reflect the league’s evolving priorities, focusing on player versatility and consistent performance throughout the season.

From a political perspective, the NBA’s decisions to implement the 65-game rule and positionless All-NBA teams aim to enhance competitiveness and maintain fan engagement. By ensuring that top awards go to players with substantial season contributions, the league addresses concerns about load management and player rest.

Economically, the All-NBA selections have profound implications. Players like Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, now eligible for supermax extensions, highlight the financial rewards tied to elite performance. These contracts, potentially exceeding $300 million, reflect the NBA’s lucrative nature and the significant investments teams make in their star players.

Sociologically, these selections also affect player legacies and public perception. For players like LeBron James, maintaining All-NBA status at 39 solidifies his enduring legacy. For younger players like Doncic and Edwards, early career achievements set the stage for future accolades and influence their standing within the league.

The 65-game rule’s impact is evident, as it excluded several high-profile players from consideration. This rule emphasizes the importance of durability and consistent performance, potentially affecting how teams manage player workloads. The exclusion of players like Donovan Mitchell and Julius Randle showcases the rule’s immediate effects.

Local communities and fan bases also feel the impact of these selections. For instance, Jalen Brunson’s All-NBA nod boosts the New York Knicks’ profile and energizes their fan base. Similarly, Tyrese Haliburton’s recognition brings positive attention to the Indiana Pacers, fostering local support and engagement.

From a gender and minority perspective, the NBA’s efforts to highlight mental health and social issues among players continue to shape its image as a progressive league. Recognizing diverse talents and promoting inclusive narratives enhance the NBA’s reputation and appeal.

In conclusion, the All-NBA team selections reflect broader trends within the NBA, including the emphasis on player versatility, durability, and financial implications. These selections highlight individual achievements while shaping the league’s competitive landscape and influencing fan engagement.

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