An All-NBA selection is certainly a bigger honor for players than playing in the All-Star Game. However, both represent great prizes for any player's resume, especially among superstars who have managed to stay there for long periods of time.
These aren't small honors or intangible ones. All-NBA selections often generate contract ramifications that can earn or lose different bonuses on a player's contract.
For the 2021-22 NBA regular season, there was some controversy regarding the All-NBA First Team. Joel Embiid, who had the second-most votes for the NBA MVP award, featured in the second team. The unusual circumstances had a player of the same position winning the MVP award and earning first-team recognition.
Top 3 players in league history in terms of All-NBA selections in league history
Moreover, the LA Lakers' LeBron James was awarded a spot in the third team, but many believed that "The King" should've been in the second unit. Either way, being on an All-NBA squad at age 37 in the 19th season of his career remains a unique achievement.
In this article, we will take a broad look at the history of All-NBA selections and list the players with the most recognitions in league history.
Without further ado, let us take a look.
#3 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tim Duncan | 15
Tim Duncan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are tied with 15 All-NBA selections throughout their respective illustrious careers. However, only two units existed during Abdul-Jabbar's prime.
Abdul-Jabbar made the first team 10 times (like Duncan) and was a second-team member five times (two for Duncan). The San Antonio Spurs' legend made the third team twice.
Abdul-Jabbar played in the NBA for 20 seasons and also made the All-Defensive team 11 times in his career. He also won six regular-season MVPs, two Finals MVPs and six championships with the Milwaukee Bucks (one) and LA Lakers (five).
On Duncan's side, he was a five-time champion and won two regular-season MVPs and three-time Finals MVP trophies. He was selected to the All-NBA First Team in his rookie season (1997-98).
#2 Kobe Bryant | 15
Kobe Bryant also had 15 All-NBA selections in his iconic NBA career. He ranks higher than Abdul-Jabbar and Duncan because he made the first team 11 times in his career. This total is tied for second-most in league history, along with Karl Malone.
Bryant's first All-NBA selection came in the 1998-99 campaign (his third season in the league) and he made the first team for the first time in the 2001-02 campaign.
The LA Lakers legend made the second team twice in his career and also reached the third unit twice.
Overall, Bryant won five NBA titles with the LA Lakers, two Finals MVP awards and one regular-season MVP.
#1 LeBron James | 18
LeBron James extended his record for the most All-NBA selections in league history with his 18th selection.
James' 18 selections include a record of 13 first-team appearances, three in the second unit and a couple of third-team nods, including his most recent one.
"The King" made it to the All-NBA squad for the first time in his second season with a second-team selection after the 2004-05 campaign.
From 2008 to 2018, LeBron James made the first team in 11 consecutive years, which tied Karl Malone's record.
James is a four-time champion, four-time Finals MVP and four-time regular-season MVP. His record of All-NBA selections is likely to continue to grow as his level remains among the best in the league in this day and age.