NEW YORK — NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James was the leading vote-getter for the league’s all-defensive squad Wednesday, while Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler didn’t even crack the first team.
Confused? So were plenty of others — even a Harvard graduate.
Jeremy Lin, Chandler’s teammate in New York, took to Twitter to ask for an explanation of how that was possible.
The answer is because the voting is done by different parties. A media panel voted for Defensive Player of the Year, while the all-defensive team vote was conducted by the league’s 30 head coaches, who voted for a first and second team by position and were not allowed to pick their own players.
They favored Orlando’s Dwight Howard, the NBA’s leading rebounder and its top defensive player three straight years before Chandler, as their center.
Also on the first team were Thunder forward Serge Ibaka, who led the league in blocks and was runner-up to Chandler for Defensive Player of the Year; Clippers guard Chris Paul, the league leader in steals; and Grizzlies guard Tony Allen.
Ibaka and Allen earned first-team honors for the first time.
James totaled 53 points, including 24 first-team votes. He averaged 1.9 steals and 7.9 rebounds as Miami ranked fourth in the league in opponent scoring.
Joining on Chandler on the second team were Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett of the Celtics, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, and Chicago forward Luol Deng.