LeBron James, Steph Curry, Luka Doncic Headline 2020-21 All-NBA Team Selections

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 16, 2021

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Add an All-NBA first team selection to Nikola Jokic's list of accomplishments during the 2020-21 season.

The league MVP headlined the list of All-NBA selections, which were revealed ahead of Tuesday's second-round showdown between the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets. Jokic was joined by Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard on the first team.

Joel Embiid and LeBron James headlined the All-NBA second team, while Kyrie Irving was included on the third team:

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

2020-21 All-NBA teams:<br><br>First: Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Kawhi Leonard <br><br>Second: Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Joel Embiid, Julius Randle, LeBron James<br><br>Third: Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal, Rudy Gobert, Jimmy Butler, Paul George

NBA Communications @NBAPR

Center Nikola Jokić, the 2020-21 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, and two-time MVPs Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry lead the 2020-21 All-NBA First Team.<br><br>More ➡️ https://t.co/2dPWFu5npB<br><br>The voting results for the 2020-21 All-NBA Team are below ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/TQ7thkKhDI

The positional restraints in place when naming the All-NBA teams is always a storyline, although Brad Botkin of CBS Sports noted there was an adjustment for some players who were All-NBA eligible at multiple positions.

Embiid was the most notable one of those, as the Philadelphia 76ers big man was eligible as a forward despite playing center for the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed. That meant he wasn't in direct competition with Jokic at the center spot, even if he was one of the primary competitors for the league MVP until the Nuggets star pulled away from the field by the end of the season.

Still, injuries held him back in the MVP race and may have in the All-NBA selections as well given his spot on the second team.

Elsewhere, James played just 45 games, which was the lowest mark of his career. The Los Angeles Lakers star was hampered by an ankle injury and also fell out of the MVP race despite being one of the early frontrunners.

However, missing so much time didn't prevent him from making the 17th All-NBA team of his illustrious career. The four-time champion has made the All-NBA first team 13 times, but, much like when he dealt with injuries in 2018-19 as a third-teamer, he had to settle for second team this season.

James is one of eight All-NBA selections who are no longer playing for a championship after his Lakers lost in the first round to the Phoenix Suns.

That is not the case for Antetokounmpo, Embiid, Chris Paul, Leonard, Rudy Gobert, Irving and Paul George, who are all still alive in the playoffs. They were each recognized for their individual abilities with Tuesday's announcement, but they would surely all trade it for a championship as the playoffs continue.


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