NEW YORK, May 5, 2010 – Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, winner of the 2009-10 Defensive Player of the Year Award presented by Kia Motors, and guard Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics headline the NBA All-Defensive First Team, the NBA announced today. By totaling 57 points overall, including 28 First Team votes, Howard edged Rondo (50 points overall and 23 First Team votes) as the leading vote-getter.
Also selected to the All-Defensive First Team are forward LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers (45 points), Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (34 points) and Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace (30 points).
The NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of center Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs, guards Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and Thabo Sefolosha of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and forwards Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks and Anderson Varejao of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Duncan has been selected to the NBA All-Defensive team 13 consecutive seasons.
The fact that Varejao received recognition is notable. It means that he's finally getting some respect around the league after years of hearing the word ''flopper'' associated with his name. Detroit coach John Kuester told me in an interview that Varejao is the type of player you love to have hate to coach against.