The NBA announced their first, second, and third teams for the 2018-19 All-NBA honors on Thursday, and Denver’s Nikola Jokic was named to the first team along with Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Stephen Curry, and Paul George.
All-NBA teams are out.— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 23, 2019
Big headlines: Paul George makes 1st Team over KD, Jokic makes 1st Team over Embiid. Kemba makes 3rd team (qualifies him for Supermax), Karl Anthony Towns doesnt, means he misses out in $32 million incentive in his contract. pic.twitter.com/cULXNhqFZz
Nikola Jokic, who averaged 20.1, 10.8, 7.3 assists across 80 appearances in the regular season, becomes the second Denver Nugget to ever be named to an All-NBA First Team, joining David Thompson who did it in back-to-back seasons (1976-1978.) Jokic becomes just the seventh Nugget to be named to any All-NBA team, and the first Serbian player to receive First Team recognition.
Jokic edged out Joel Embiid (Second Team) and Rudy Gobert (Third Team) with 59 votes for First Team, 38 for Second Team, and 2 for Third Team.
Jokic’s contract included $4 Million in undisclosed incentives, so it’s possible that this recognition just earned him a nice bonus.
This is a significant moment for both Jokic and the Denver Nuggets organization. Carmelo Anthony never made First Team All-NBA, nor did the great Alex English. Jokic has been maligned for his conditioning, his perceived defensive deficiencies, and the myriad ways he does not fill the traditional shoes of a superstar. He’s been labeled as soft, fraudulent, and among the most overrated players in the league by his doubters. Those doubters have even less ground to stand on today. First Team All-NBA. Put some respect on this man’s name.