Defense is as important in the game of basketball as a great offense, and we have seen some NBA superstars that have been able to perform at a high level on both sides. Two All-Defensive teams are picked at the end of every NBA season to select the best defenders of the campaign.
In this article, we will take a look at the five players with the most appearances in the NBA All-Defensive teams.
5 Players with the most All-Defensive selections
Some defensive specialists have been rewarded with All-Defensive selections. However, this list is made up of NBA superstars who performed exceptionally on defense, while contributing significantly on the other end of the floor as well.
#5 Scottie Pippen - 10 NBA All-Defensive selections
Scottie Pippen is one of the greatest wing defenders in NBA history. He was Michael Jordan's main ally during the Chicago Bulls' run of six NBA titles during the 1990s, and his defense was stifling throughout.
The 6' 8'' forward came into the league in the 1987 NBA Draft, when he was selected by the Seattle Supersonics with the fifth pick, before being traded to the Bulls.
Pippen did not start a single game in his first NBA season, but still showed his defense was good, recording 1.2 steals in just over 20 minutes per game.
From his second season onwards, Pippen became a regular starter and one of the two best players on the Chicago Bulls' roster. Moreover, he quickly became one of the best defenders in the league.
At the end of his career, he had six NBA championships, an All-Star Game MVP, seven All-NBA selections, and his defense had earned him 10 All-Defensive selections. He was a member of the All-Defensive First Team eight times and was selected to the Second-Team twice.
Pippen averaged two steals per game in his career and led the league in that category once (1994-95 with 2.9 per game).
#4 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 11 NBA All-Defensive selections
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will always be known for his offense. He popularized the unstoppable skyhook, and his record of 38,387 points is the highest in NBA history.
However, at 7' 2'', Abdul-Jabbar was also an elite rim protector and a huge presence in the middle for the Milwaukee Bucks' and LA Lakers' defenses between 1969 and 1989.
His frame helped him lead the league in blocks four times in his career, even though the league started tracking the stat in the 1973-74 season, which was Kareem's fifth year in the NBA.
His defense earned Kareem 11 All-Defensive selections (five First-Team and six Second-Team choices). In his 20-year career, Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA titles, six MVPs, two Finals MVPs, and received 19 All-Star selections.