Andre Iguodala Becomes 1st Warrior to Earn All-Defensive 1st Team Since 1971

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffJune 3, 2014

Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala looks on against the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter of the Warriors' 89-81 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala was named to the NBA's All-Defensive first team on Tuesday, becoming the first Warrior since 1971 to earn the honor, per Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group.

Joining Iguodala on the All-Defensive first team are Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka and Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, the 2014 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, per

Despite his reputation as one of the league's premier perimeter defenders, Iguodala had never made the All-Defensive first team before this season. He's surprisingly only made the second team once, back in 2010-11 while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers.

The last Warrior to make an All-Defensive first team was retired center Nate Thurmond, who earned the honor in 1970-71—the franchise's final season under the name San Francisco Warriors. A Hall of Famer and seven-time All Star, Thurmond also earned All-Defensive first team honors in 1968-69, and he made the second team in three consecutive seasons from 1971-72 to 1973-74.

While highly unlikely Iguodala will join Thurmond in the Hall of Fame, the former Arizona Wildcat has carved out an excellent career. Drafted ninth overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2004 NBA Draft, Iguodala immediately stepped in as a starter. Igoudala, following the departure Allen Iverson, led the 76ers in scoring four straight seasons from 2006-07 to 2009-10.

Iguodala was probably overstretched in his role as a team's leading scorer, especially as his free-throw shooting ability has declined over time. With Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and David Lee leading the Warriors' offense, Iguodala was able to focus on his defense more than ever in his first season with Golden State.