Despite having “Win NBA Defensive Player of the Year” still on his bucket list, LeBron James turned in a below-average campaign on defense this season.
It was still good enough to earn him a spot on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team, the team announced.
The NBA announced today that Miami HEAT forward LeBron James has been named to the 2013-14 NBA All-Defensive Second Team. This marks the sixth time James has earned NBA All-Defensive Team honors, including five First Team honors from 2008-2013. It also marks James’ fourth All-Defensive Team honor as a member of the HEAT, the most in franchise history. James tallied 134 points, finishing with 57 First Team votes, tying the fourth-most in the league, and 20 Second Team votes. The voting panel consisted of 123 writers and broadcasters with two points awarded for a First Team vote and one point awarded for a Second Team vote.
LeBron is still regarded as one of the top perimeter defenders in the league. He’s also one of the few players who can guard all give positions effectively. However, his defensive rating of 104.1 wasn’t stellar and certainly not his best.
The Miami Herald’s Joseph Goodman sums it up pretty well.
LeBron James not among NBA All-Defensive First Team for first time in six years. I understand the reasoning, but still shocking.
— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) June 2, 2014
Surely, the season grind got to LeBron. Dwyane Wade taking games off didn’t help either, forcing LeBron to ease back on defense to focus on shouldering the scoring load. Just another personal sacrifice by these Heat players as they continue to chase titles.