Wembanyama Makes History as 1st NBA Rookie to Earn First-Team All-Defense Honors

NEW YORK (AP) — Victor Wembanyama has achieved a remarkable feat in his rookie season in the NBA.

The San Antonio center has become the first player in NBA history to be named to the league's All-Defensive first team as a rookie. The league announced the teams on Tuesday, with Wembanyama receiving 98 out of 99 votes.

Rudy Gobert, the Defensive Player of the Year from Minnesota, led the first team and was the only unanimous selection. Joining him on the first team are Wembanyama, Bam Adebayo from Miami, Herb Jones from New Orleans, and Anthony Davis from the Los Angeles Lakers.

"When he entered the league, there were high expectations for him because of his 7-3 height and ability to shoot step-back 3-pointers. Many people were focused on that and overlooked his defensive capabilities," said Adebayo about Wembanyama. "So, for him to make the first team as a rookie is a fantastic achievement."

The second-team All-Defense selections included Alex Caruso from Chicago, Jalen Suggs from Orlando, Jaden McDaniels from Minnesota, and Derrick White and Jrue Holiday from Boston.

For Gobert, this marks his seventh All-Defense selection, all on the first team. Davis has now been named to the All-Defense team five times, with three first-team honors. Adebayo received his fifth All-Defense nod, but his first appearance on the first team. Jones made his debut on the team this year.

"It feels like a long time coming, getting my first first-team selection," said Adebayo. "I'm savoring the moment, feeling blessed to be among the chosen ones."

Wembanyama now joins the ranks of six rookies in NBA history to be named to the All-Defensive Team, with the other five earning second-team honors in their rookie seasons. These players include Tim Duncan of San Antonio in 1998, David Robinson of the Spurs in 1990, Manute Bol of Washington in 1986, Hakeem Olajuwon of Houston in 1985, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of Milwaukee in 1970.

The All-NBA team will be announced on Wednesday. If Wembanyama makes the team, he will be the first rookie to receive that honor since Duncan 26 years ago.

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