For the fourth time in his impressive professional career, former Kentucky men’s basketball player Anthony Davis was tabbed to the All-NBA First Team.
Davis leads all former Wildcats with four all-time selections to All-NBA teams and his four first-team honors are also tops in program history. He was also named to the All-NBA Defensive Team for the fourth time in his career earlier this month.
The Chicago native churned out with 455 total votes by a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. He is joined on the first team by Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, teammate LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston’s James Harden and Dallas’ Luka Dončić.
Players were awarded five points for each vote to the first team, three points for each vote to the second team and one point for each vote to the third. Voters selected two guards, two forwards and one center for each team, choosing players at the position where they play regularly. Players who received votes at multiple positions were slotted at the position where they received the most votes. The voting was conducted based on regular-season games played through March 11. The seeding games, which were played July 30–Aug. 14 as part of the 2019-20 season restart, did not count toward voting for the All-NBA Team or the league’s other traditional end-of-season awards.
Kentucky has earned nine combined All-NBA selections since 2011, the first year head coach John Calipari-coached players appeared in their opening NBA season. Four Calipari-coached players in Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Karl-Anthony Towns and John Wall have earned All-NBA distinction at some point in the last 10 seasons. No other program has more than two players who have earned All-NBA honors.
Including Derrick Rose at Memphis, Calipari has coached five All-NBA players in his college career.
Davis was not the only former player who called Lexington, Kentucky, home as a collegiate player under consideration for an All-NBA selection. Miami’s Bam Adebayo, who earned All-Defensive Team accolades last week and his first selection to the All-Star Game, scored 26 total votes as a center. Towns also earned votes for the centers. Another first-time 2020 All-Star in Devin Booker was a vote-getter for the guards.
Davis is in his eighth season in the NBA. The 6-foot-11 forward finished the regular-season ranking third in blocks (2.3 blocks per game), 10th in scoring (26.1), 14th in steals (1.5), 15th in total double-doubles (29) and 18th in rebounds (9.3). His player efficiency rating, a strong indicator of a player’s overall contributions and value, is at 27.50, which ranked fourth in the league.
Entering Friday’s Western Conference finals, Davis is averaging 27.6 points per game in the playoffs for the Lakers, who earned the Western Conference’s No. 1 overall seed and will take on Jamal Murray’s Denver Nuggets for the chance to play for a championship.
Named to the NBA All-Star Game for the seventh straight season in February, he was tabbed a starter for the fourth time. In 2017, he won MVP honors on what was then his home court in New Orleans. Davis scored an All-Star Game record 52 points in addition to contributing 10 rebounds. He broke Wilt Chamberlain’s previous scoring record of 42 points set in 1962.
Davis was the 2012 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player after leading Kentucky to the 2012 national championship, Davis has already put together a long list of accolades in the NBA during his short career. Among his most noteworthy achievements, he’s a three-time All-NBA First Team selection (2015, 2017 and 2018) and made the NBA All-Rookie Team in 2013. He was considered the consensus national player of the year in 2012 before being drafted No. 1 overall by the New Orleans Pelicans (formerly the New Orleans Hornets) in 2012.
Kentucky has enjoyed unprecedented success at putting players in the NBA under Calipari. In the 10-plus seasons of the Calipari era, 38 players have been selected in the NBA Draft, more than any other school. Included in the recent run are 29 first-round picks, three No. 1 overall selections (Davis, Towns and Wall) and 21 lottery selections. A staggering 29 players from Kentucky were on NBA opening-day rosters (including two-way and inactive lists), the most of any school.
Thirteen former Wildcats were on NBA playoff rosters, which also led the country. Eight Wildcats are still competing with eight teams still alive.
Calipari’s players are not only reaching the next level, they are succeeding when they do. His players have garnered 22 All-Star selections. Derrick Rose (from Memphis) was named league MVP in 2011. Five of his players have been tabbed All-NBA (Rose, Wall, Davis, Cousins and Towns), three have been named NBA Rookie of the Year (Rose, Tyreke Evans and Towns), and 12 players from Calipari’s first nine teams at Kentucky have made the NBA All-Rookie teams.
Using figures compiled by basketball-reference.com and spotrac.com, Calipari-coached players only (which includes Rose but not Rajon Rondo) have amassed more than $2.26 billion in career NBA contracts. In the 11 seasons Calipari has been the head coach at Kentucky, his players have totaled nearly $1.9 billion in NBA contracts.
In just the 2019-20 season alone, UK players were slated to make more than $255 million. Calipari-coached players only (which includes Rose but not Rondo) will make more than $260 million.
Calipari has had at least one player selected in the top 10 of the draft in each of the last 12 seasons, dating back to his time at Memphis. No other school or coach in the country has had a first-round pick in each of the last 11 seasons. Calipari is the only coach in the history of the sport to have four players drafted No. 1 overall (Rose – 2008, Wall – 2010, Davis – 2012, Towns – 2015).
‑ GO CATS –
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